René Magritte, das Vergnügen, 1927, Öl auf Leinwand, 74 x 98 cm, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2010

Another important focus at the Kunstsammlung is the “Pittura Metafisica” tendency, represented by the works of Giorgio de Chirico (1888–1978), as well as works by Surrealist artists.

Among six works by Max Ernst (1891–1976) is the large painting Au premier mot limpide (1923), created by the artist as a wall decoration for the bedroom during his stay at the home of the poet Paul Éluard and his wife Gala in the small town of Eaubonne near Paris. In the 1990s, the museum acquired seven sculptures by Ernst which demonstrate the artist’s collage principle in a creative and humorous fashion. The particular charm of these three-dimensional works lies in the animated character of the fragile material used for the plaster originals, which served as templates for these bronze reproductions.

Additional highpoints of Surrealist painting are five works by René Magritte (1898–1967), four by Joan Miró (1893–1983), and two by Salvador Dalí (1904–1989). Dali executed his Le cabinet anthropomorphique of 1936 on a fragile wooden panel in the style of the old masters. The selection is flanked by a sculpture by Alexander Calder, one of the so-called “Stabile-Mobiles” which dates from 1937. Its idiosyncratic formal language owes much to Joan Miró’s abstract Surrealist works as well as to Piet Mondrian’s rigorous principles of order.