Xerjoff Magazine

Dream world Design


Surrealism has had an influence on design since the 1920’s. The exhibition “Objects of Desire: Surrealism and Design 1924 – Today” held at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein demonstrates it.

The influence that Surrealism, one of the most revealing artistic movements of the 20th century, has exerted on design is the main theme of an exhibition that from September 28th to January 18th 2020 will be hosted by the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein (Charles -Eames-Straße 2). As it is known, many artists such as Salvador Dalì, Renè Magritte, and Meret Oppenheim have drawn their inspiration from objects of everyday life and have investigated the unconscious component of our material culture. From the 20’s this led Surrealism, to exert a significant influence on design, from furniture to interior design, all the way to graphic design. “Objects of Desire: Surrealism and Design 1924 – Today”, is the title of the exhibition curated by Mateo Kries.

Divided into four sections, the exhibition shows the creative interaction between the two worlds combining surrealist works (“The Red Model” (1947/1948) by René Magritte, “Giant Flying Mocha Cup with an Inexplicable Five Meter Appendage” (1944/45) by Salvador Dalì, “Forest, Birds and Sun” (1927) by Max Ernst, “Bottle Dryer” (1914) one of Marcel Duchamp‘s Ready-mades or “Gift” (1921) by Man Ray and many others) to objects designed by famous designers such as Gae Aulenti, Achille Castiglioni, Carlo Mollino, Le Corbusier, Iris van Herpen, Front, Konstantin Grcic, and Odd Matter. Among the objectives of the exhibition, is to show how design, unlike what is often believed, is not completely identified with function or technology. The objects that surround us in fact, also express our hidden dreams, our obsessions, our desires and our aspirations and for this reason they go beyond reality to enter sur-reality.

Above: Gae Aulenti, Tour, 1993 © Vitra Design Museum, photo: Jürgen Hans