At the invitation of Catherine David, deputy director of the Musée National d’Art Moderne in charge of research and globalisation, the independent curators Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath of Art Reoriented have amalgamated the results of five years in-depth research with hundreds of interviews recorded in the field in Egypt and several other countries.
They have selected nearly 130 paintings, works on paper and photographs dating from the late 1920s to the early 1950s, and a large number of archive documents (historic photographs, film footage and early manuscripts never previously exhibited). These works, many of them making their first appearance, have been patiently borrowed from over 50 public and private collections in Egypt and eleven other countries.
By assembling for the first time these works and this corpus crucial to understanding the Surrealist paradigm in all its complexity, this historic exhibition outlines an overall vision of the Art et Liberté group, one of whose figureheads was the Egyptian writer, poet and journalist Georges Henein (1914-1973).
The event is one of the various projects staged by the Centre Pompidou to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the death of André Breton (1896-1966).
After the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the exhibition will travel to the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Kunstsammlung K21 in Düsseldorf and the Tate Liverpool in England, between 2017 and 2018.