Spain is key to the development of Surrealism. Although the movement stands out for its artistic expression, there is also an extensive body of literary work. Surrealism is prolific in its manifestos, pamphlets and proclamations from the time André Breton publishes The First Surrealist Manifesto in 1924. In the exhibition, this particular text can be read in Spanish via the translation by Fernando Vela, a collaborator of José Ortega y Gasset, published in Revista de Occidente.
This exhibition provides a vision of the Surrealist movement through its published texts. Generally speaking, there are three focal points of the poetic writings of Surrealism: the work of André Breton, and Spanish and Latin American literary Surrealism.
The publications exhibited include both the first editions of books now considered classics and other common editions re-published at different moments and which can still be found in book shops. This is the case with publications by André Breton such as Manifiestos del Surrealismo (Manifestos of Surrealism) (exhibited here in its 1969 edition) and the Antología del humor negro (The Anthology of Black Humour) (exhibited here in its 1972 edition), which is still regularly re-published. Other similar examples are the 1940 edition of Federico García Lorca's Poeta en Nueva York (Poet in New York); the 1948 edition of Comte de Lautréamont's - Isidore Ducasse - Los cantos de Maldoror (The Songs of Maldoror); the 1929 edition of Rafael Alberti's Sobre los ángeles (Concerning the Angels) and the 1940 edition of Luis Cernuda's La realidad y el deseo (Reality and Desire).
The sphere of the Spanish language is explored through Spanish writers, which, as well as those already mentioned such as Alberti, García Lorca and Cernuda, also include Vicente Aleixandre, Eugenio Granell and Juan Larrea. The latter of these is influenced by the Chilean poet and founder of Creationsim, Vicente Huidobro, whose work bridged the gap between Latin American and Spanish Surrealism.
The Latin American output with direct ties to Surrealism is in abundance and highly relevant. This exhibition displays some of the most emblematic publications from Chilean authors such as Braulio Arenas and Enrique Gómez-Correa, Peruvian writers such as César Moro, Octavio Paz, from Mexico, and Argentinian authors such as Carlos Latorre, Julio Llinás, Francisco Madariaga and Enrique Molina. Moreover, the exhibit also presents works from some of the most prominent names in French Surrealism, as Louis Aragon, Antonin Artaud, Paul Éluard, Benjamin Peret and René Char are represented.