• MoMA, Floor 5, 518 The Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Galleries

At first glance, Paul Cézanne’s apples, Henri Rousseau’s junglescapes, and Giorgio de Chirico’s eerie arcades may appear to have little in common. All, however, were celebrated by French poet André Breton as key precursors in an art historical lineage leading up to Surrealism’s arrival, which he announced by manifesto in 1924. For Breton, progress in art was marked by a return to what he described as “the wild eye,” untainted by convention and reason.

What unites the disparate works in this gallery is a turn away from external sources of inspiration toward an internal model based on direct, unmediated experience. These artists—who range from the 19th century’s Georges Seurat to Breton’s contemporaries Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso—rejected the idea of painting as a copy of the visible world in favor of that which is hidden, and perceptible only to the artist.

9 works online

Artists

Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research-and-learning/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].