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Surreal Worlds

Permanent exhibition
Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg

Under the title ‘Surreal Worlds’, rotating exhibitions highlight works from the permanent collection. Surrealism in its broadest sense takes centre stage here, with important predecessors and successors presented alongside the main proponents of the movement that began in Paris in the early 1920s. Visitors enjoy a unique opportunity to explore the curving byways in the development of fantastical art, not just its well-known avenues.

Important Artists Shown in the Exhibition

The collection includes select artworks by almost all members of the group of Surrealists surrounding French intellectual André Breton, including first and foremost Max Ernst and Hans Bellmer, but also René Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Yves Tanguy and André Masson. In their art they employed the most important techniques for exploring the ‘surreal worlds’ that open up beyond the bars of logic (André Breton) and promise a life of freedom. They created automatic drawings, collages, and decalcomania (a reproductive procedure resembling the Rohrschach test), frottage works (rubbings), and fumages (images ‘painted’ with candle smoke).

In addition, works created in the 18th and 19th centuries demonstrate that many elements of Surrealism predated the formation of the movement. Even though they were not fuelled by the revolutionary impetus of the Surrealist avant-garde, they reveal a similar mistrust in reality. Piranesi’s designs for prisons lead the observer into Kafkaesque labyrinths, Francisco de Goya’s etchings present a dark world of the absurd, and paintings and drawings by Symbolists such as Odilon Redon and Alfred Kubin create an often unsettling secretive atmosphere of reticence.

"Raw" Art and Sensibility

After the Second World War the Art Brut of Jean Dubuffet, whose works form another focus of the collection, continues some of the trends of Surrealist art. Dubuffet’s interest in crude, ‘raw’ art, whether arising out of madness or dilettantism, reflects similar aspirations to those once pursued by André Breton and his friends. Like them, Dubuffet believed in a renewal of art outside of academic doctrines, and relied on the power and sensibility of the naive.

Selected Film Works

Last but not least a small selection of films enriches the exhibition, from classics by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí to films by contemporary artists whose visual vocabulary references Surrealism. These can be viewed in the Sahurê-Saal, which houses columns from the ancient Egyptian temple of that name. Along with the famous Kalabsha Gate at the entrance to the collection, these columns were temporarily left behind when the Ägyptisches Museum was moved from this building to the Museumsinsel in 2006. Until completion of the fourth wing of the Pergamonmuseum they will remain welcome guests in the exhibition galleries of the ‘Surreal Worlds’.


A permanent exhibition of the Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.

Bilder mit Bildern machen!


Workshop | 120 Minuten | 60 €

© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg / Anika Büssemeier
Das surreale Spiel mit dem Zufall


Workshop | 120 Minuten | 60 €

Max Klinger: Phantasien über einen gefundenen Handschuh, der Dame, die ihn verlor, gewidmet, 9. Blatt: Entführung, 1878
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Volker-H. Schneider
Geschichten mit Bildern erzählen


Workshop | 120 Minuten | 60 €

Francisco de Goya: Asta su abuelo, Capricho 39, 1797-1798
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Roman März
Kolossal surreal!


Ausstellungsgespräch | 60 Minuten | 30 Euro

Yves Tanguy; Illustration für „Le grand passage“ von Jean Laude, Paris 1954 Wolfgang
Wittrock, Berlin
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017
Stempeln, Ritzen, Abpausen – Drucktechniken


Workshop | 120 Minuten | 60 €

© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie / Roman März
The art of Surrealism | Guided Tour

Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg
Guided tour (60 min)

Jiří Kolář, Buch-Collage (Detail), 1973
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Nationalgalerie
Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg | third party tour

Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg
Guided tour by third parties

Ansicht der Sammlungspräsentation "Surreale Welten"
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg / Thomas Bruns
Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg | group reservation

Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg
Reservation for group visits

Schloßstraße 70
14059 Berlin

wheelchair accessible

U-Bahn: Sophie-Charlotte-Platz, Richard-Wagner-Platz
S-Bahn: Westend
Bus: Schloss Charlottenburg, Luisenplatz / Schloss Charlottenburg

Sun 11:00 - 18:00
Mon closed
Tue closed
Wed 11:00 - 18:00
Thu 11:00 - 18:00
Fri 11:00 - 18:00
Sat 11:00 - 18:00

Opening times on public holidays Opening Hours

Myth and Massacre + Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg
12,00 EUR Concessions 6,00
+ Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg
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Annual Ticket from 25,00 EUR
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