Beautiful as the change encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on
an operating table…. Adopted by the Surrealist art movement in the
mid-1920s, these words express the beyond reality of their ideas and work.
And for 20 years Birmingham was a hotbed of surrealism, although the city's
influence on the movement has been little-known - until now. Birmingham
Museum & Art Gallery has brought together works by nationally acclaimed
artists who were based in the city between 1935 and 1954.
The artist Conroy Maddox was the focal point of a group that came together in
the Midlands during this period, meeting regularly at the Kardomah café in
New Street. It sounds more like Paris than Birmingham, but these artists
made surrealism a way of life as well as a style of painting.
Their works included The Visitor and The Jumping Three, by Desmond
Morris, National History Museum of the Child, by John Melville, Brave Morning,
by Emmy Bridgwater and The Boy, by Maddox.
These are all on show at the exhibition along with many other works from the
city's collection, loans from the artists and families, private collections and
from The Tate, The British Museum, The Arts Council of England and Leeds
City Arts Gallery.