Our Collection


Surrealism aimed to challenge the rational world and free the artistic imagination by reaching the unconscious mind. This was achieved by tapping into dreams and through techniques like automatism – making marks without conscious control and then finding hidden images and meanings. The movement was founded by Andre Breton in 1924 and arrived in Britain at the notorious International Surrealist Exhibition of 1936. Southampton’s collection includes works by artists who organised and exhibited at that exhibition and charts the development of British Surrealism into the 1940s.