Excerpts from a Wall Street Journal online review (Feb 25, 2020):
Masson, a founding Surrealist, saw the movement as an immersion “into what the German romantics call the night side of things.” However, “towards 1930,” Masson wrote, “a formidable disaster appeared in its midst: the demagogy of the irrational.” “Midnight in Paris” touches on Surrealism’s highs and lows, its darkness, poetry, beauty and banalities, reminding viewers—at the heart of the Dalí Museum, no less—that the movement is much, much more than melting watches.
In 1920s Paris, Surrealist revolution and transgression were in the air, but not everyone agreed on how to make Surrealist works or what they should look like. “Midnight in Paris: Surrealism at the Crossroads, 1929,” an exhibition of 80 paintings, prints, sculptures, drawings, collages, photographs, films and documents at St. Petersburg’s Dalí Museum, proposes to examine Surrealism’s rich visual fabric, conflicts and rivalries during the movement’s heyday in the City of Light. Organized by Didier Ottinger, deputy director of the Musée national d’art moderne at the Centre Pompidou, and William Jeffett, chief curator of special exhibitions at the Dalí, it focuses on the moment just before Surrealism burst onto and began to dominate the world stage.