Through the medium of some 200 paintings, photographs, drawings, sculptures, documents and, of course, film excerpts, the exhibition offers a fresh exploration of works by artists such as František Kupka, Marc Chagall, Fernand Léger, Man Ray, Meret Oppenheim, John Heartfield, and Claude Cahun, by accentuating the porosity, similarity or even the close rapport between their creations and the films of Charlie Chaplin.
The exhibition focuses on four themes, each introduced by excerpts from Chaplin’s films.
- Man-Machine explores the dehumanising beauty of machines and how it is reflected in the works of artists such as Fernand Léger and František Kupka.
- The Poetry of the World conjures up the hidden poetry at the heart of modern life, as interpreted by André Breton, René Magritte, and Claude Cahun.
- The Show within the Show demonstrates how closely artists such as Alexander Calder and Marc Chagall identified with entertainers and circus performers.
- The Absurdity of History looks at the tragic element in certain social and historical contexts in the first half of the 20th century, and the role played by artists such as Victor Brauner and Erwin Blumenfeld in highlighting this.