Magritte and Surrealism
The Liberation of Instinct
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This section of Making Sense of Modern Art explores the Surrealist art movement. Inspired by Freud's recently published insights into the hidden reaches of the unconscious, the Surrealists sought to subordinate the rational mind in favor of the liberation of instinct. Led by the poet André Breton, the Surrealists proposed an alternative agenda for the transformation of society. In the movement's later years, Breton described this pursuit in an interview: "Completely against the tide, in a violent reaction against the impoverishment and sterility of thought processes that resulted from centuries of rationalism, we turned toward the marvelous and advocated it unconditionally."
Making Sense of Modern Art offers an extensive and engaging guide to modern and contemporary works in the Museum's permanent collection. Its rich-media format enables you to "zoom in" on full-screen details of individual artworks, explore excerpts from archival videos and films, and listen to commentary by artists, art historians, critics, and collectors.
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