Exhibition Objects of Desire: Surrealism and Design 1924 – Today
10 Unmissable Highlights from #ObjectsOfDesire
From world-renowned artworks from Surrealist pioneers such as Salvador Dalí and Leonora Carrington through to contemporary artists and designs, such as Schiaparelli, Dior, Björk. Explore the 10 unmissable highlights from our exhibition.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
An iron with nails glued to its face, this object, spontaneously created by Man Ray on the way to one of the first Surrealist exhibitions in 1921, transforms a functional household object into something more disturbing.
1963 replica of lost 1921 original Man Ray.
A fully functioning telephone created from an unexpected combination of objects, this object is key in showing Surrealism’s transition from art to design. Dalí saw both lobsters and telephones as erotic objects, and his first designs for this object were titled the ‘Aphrodisiac Telephone.’
1938. Salvador Dalí, Edward James.
A collaboration between Dalí and Walt Disney, Destino is a surrealist short film telling the love story of Chronos, the personification of time, and a mortal woman. As they seek each other out across surreal landscapes, look out for Dali’s recurring motifs – from melting clocks to the eye.
2003. Original designs by Salvador Dalí and John Hench for Walt Disney Studios.
Before Barbiecore there was Schiaparelli shocking pink. Daring and eccentric, this design of Maison Schiaparelli is modelled on the 1930 wooden mannequins Elsa Schiaparelli displayed in her Paris shop window.
Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2021. Schiaparelli by Daniel Roseberry.
Oppenheim is believed to have worn her fur bracelet, designed for Elsa Schiaparelli, to meet artists Picasso and Dora Maar at a Parisian café. They supposedly remarked that anything might be covered in fur, leading Oppenheim to create her famously uncanny fur-covered cup and saucer – one of the ultimate Surrealist objects.
2014 edition of 1935 original Meret Oppenheim.
Taken at Las Pozas, the Mexican estate of Surrealist patron Edward James; and with references to Surrealist artworks and accessories, these two fashion photos featuring actress Tilda Swinton are both mysterious and striking.
2013 Tim Walker.
This chair was designed by sketching mid-air with hand gestures, using motion capture technology. Spontaneous and unpredictable, this use of gestures recalls Picasso’s early experiments in ‘drawing’ with light.
AP 2, 2013. Front.
Discover the exhibition
Discover the dreamlike relationship between Surrealism and design – a Vitra Design Museum Exhibition.
Photography credits: Andy Stagg