Surrealism and Design Now: From Dalì to AI

  • Stefano Mancin

Surrealism was one of the most influential cultural movements of the twentieth century. Subverting the dogmas of modernism and rationalism in art and literature, it also had a profound impact on the world of design. From Dalí’s Mae West lips sofa to Schiaparelli’s ‘shocking pink’ haute couture, Surrealism championed the power of the unconscious, of dreams and hidden desires – and liberated design from convention and functionalism. Published to accompany the exhibition Objects of Desire: Surrealism and Design 1924 – Today, this book celebrates Surrealism’s enduring legacy. It features groundbreaking fashion by Mary Katrantzou and Dior, as well as British artists and designers, including Tim Walker, Jonathan Trayte and Vince Fraser. Alongside essays by leading experts, such as Ghislaine Wood and Alyce Mahon, are interviews with practitioners who are carrying the torch of Surrealism today, including Viviane Sassen, Dunne & Raby and the Campana Brothers. The book concludes with a glimpse into some of the recent forms of art and resistance the movement has inspired, such as Afro-Surrealism, as well as the surprising connections between Surrealist thinking and one of the most contentious technological developments of our time: artificial intelligence.