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The Collection Scharf-Gerstenberg is exhibiting excellent works by the Surrealists and their forerunners. The spectrum of artists ranges from Piranesi, Goya and Redon to Dalí, Magritte, Max Ernst and Dubuffet.
The Collection Scharf-Gerstenberg can be found in the eastern Stüler building and in the Marstall (stables wing) opposite Charlottenburg Palace. Paintings, sculptures and works on paper are being exhibited on three floors under the title "Surreal Worlds". The history of fantastical art is traced in more than 250 works. Surrealism, a movement seeking to renew art whose principles were proclaimed in a manifesto by André Breton in the Paris of 1924, is at the centre of the collection. Nearly all members of the group of Surrealists are represented by selected works in the collection. There are larger groups of works, in particular, by Max Ernst and Hans Bellmer, but also by Wols, Paul Klee and Jean Dubuffet. The central pictorial strategies of Surrealism, such as combinatorics, metamorphosis and pure psychic automatism are illustrated by numerous virtuoso examples.
Surrealism has its place in a significant line of tradition in occidental art. The earliest works in the collection include Piranesi's illustrations of fantastical dungeon architecture as well as the nightmarish ghostly figures in Goya's etchings. French Symbolism of the late 19th century is represented by paintings of Odilon Redon and Gustave Moreau, as is its German counterpart in the form of graphic cycles of Max Klinger.
The spectrum of art on exhibit is augmented by a film programme which includes both the classic surrealist films of Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí as well as films by contemporary artists who draw upon Surrealism or use its formal instruments in their work. The films are being shown in the Sahuré Hall which continues to house the columns of the ancient Sahuré Temple. These and the Temple Gate of Kalabsha belong to the collection of the Egyptian Museum and will eventually find their final "resting place" in the fourth exhibition wing of the Pergamon Museum. Until this is completed, however, both of these impressive architectural monuments act as a Surreal element in the Collection Scharf-Gerstenberg.