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This is the 100th anniversary of the Surrealist manifesto, a document written in France for a radical art movement whose resonance endures in our chaotic moment at the 10th edition of the Tefaf New York art fair. Throughout the Park Avenue Armory, among the fair’s 89 exhibitors from 15 countries, objects made during the heyday of Surrealism, from the 1930s to the 1950s, pop up frequently. The ethos of Surrealism, which celebrated dreams, nightmares, the unconscious mind and odd juxtapositions is also prevalent.

This is a bit of a switch for Tefaf, the grand old art fair started in Maastricht, the Netherlands, which started off as a place to buy deaccessioned museum pieces and bona fide old masters. The New York edition focuses on modern and contemporary art and even the handful of dealers here specializing in antiquities, jewelry or design seem to have followed the Surrealist theme. Here are a few among this very manageable fair with exceptional wares.


Meanwhile, over at Di Donna are two paintings from the 1940s by Yves Tanguy, who was part of the 1920s Surrealist circle in Paris (although, by this time living in Connecticut with his second wife, the Surrealist poet and artist Kay Sage). Tanguy’s eerie, uneasy paintings — stark and filled in their lower registers with bulbous, spiky forms — illustrate both that battle-weary moment and, of course, our own.

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