Surrealism and mannequins as Objets d’Art

October 20, 2012

Os artistas surrealistas tinham um interesse especial em manequins. Eles mantêm vivo Pigmaleão, o mito de Ovídio sobre um escultor que entalha a mulher perfeita, apaixona-se por ela e pede a Vênus que lhe dê vida.

O artista dadaista Raoul Hausmann já havia criado, em 1919, uma cabeça mecânica de papel machê decorada chamada “The Spirit of Our Age”. Dessa forma, o objeto comum perdeu sua função e transformou-se em um conceito artístico. Hausmann fez parte da primeira exposição internacional sobre o Dadaísmo – movimento precedente ao Surrealismo – que aconteceu em Berlim em 1920, além do escultor e fotógrafo Hans Bellmer, que trabalhou com manequins desde o início dos anos 30 e emigrou para Paris em 1938.

Nesse mesmo ano, o escritor André Breton (1896-1966) e o poeta Paul Éluard (1895-1952) organizaram a “Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme” na Galerie Beaux-Arts em Paris. Quinze artistas receberam manequins e foram instruídos a utilizá-los como telas para suas criações.

Em 2011, uma exposição chamada “Surreal Things” na Schirn Art Gallery em Frankfurt mostrou as fotografias desses manequins tiradas pelo pintor, escultor e fotógrafo francês Raoul Ubac, ao lado de esculturas e objetos de artistas como Miró, Dalí e Man Ray. De acordo com a galeria, os objetos confirmam a “paixão dos surrealistas pela iconografia do manequim e refletem o desejo de sexualizar o corpo através de métodos surrealistas como o ato de cobrir e expor”.

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The surrealist artists had a special interest in mannequins. With these mannequins the art myth of Ovid’s Pygmalion, a sculptor who carved the perfect woman, fell in love with her and then asked Venus to awaken her to life, is kept alive.

The dadaist artist Raoul Hausmann had already created, in 1919, a decorated mechanical head made of papier-mâché named “The Spirit of Our Age”. Thus, the everyday item lost its common function and experienced a transformation into an artistic concept. Hausmann was involved in the first international Dada exhibition – the movement preceded Surrealism – which took place in 1920 in Berlin. The sculptor and photographer Hans Bellmer, who emigrated to Paris in 1938, was also a participant of the exhibition. He had been experimenting with mannequins since the beginning of the 1930s.

In 1938, the writer André Breton (1896-1966) and poet Paul Éluard (1895-1952) organized the “Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme” at the Galerie Beaux-Arts in Paris. Each of fifteen artists were given a dressmaker’s mannequin as their canvas and encouraged to transform the figure in any way they desired.

In 2011 an exhibition called “Surreal Things” in the Schirn Art Gallery in Frankfurt showcased photographs of these mannequins, taken by the French painter, sculptor, engraver and photographer Raoul Ubac, along sculptures and objects from artists such as Miró, Dalí and Man Ray. According to the Schirn art gallery, the objects testify to “the passion of the Surrealists for the iconography of the mannequin and reflect the desire to sexualise the body by means of surrealistic methods, such as combinatorics, veiling and exposure”.


Mannequin by Maurice Henry


Mannequin by Man Ray


Mannequin by Marcel Duchamp


Mannequin by Miró


Mannequin by Salvador Dalí


Mannequin by Sonia Mosse

One Response to “Surrealism and mannequins as Objets d’Art”


  1. Right away I am going away to do my breakfast, once having my
    breakfast coming over again to read further news.

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