On the two opposite shores of the Mediterranean, Monaco and Alexandria do not seem to have many common features. However, the small independent state and the great Mediterranean capital were, between 1850 and 1950, cultural centers animated by the most varied artists: refuges for some like Léonor Fini, André Pieyre de Mandiargues or Stanislao Lepri, during the Second World War, obligatory passages for others who wished to be citizens of the world (Duchamp, Van Dongen, Valentine de Saint-Point). The orientalist taste in dance and theater performances, the nightlife of fashionable cities, feminist eroticism, surrealist reverie spreading from France towards the sun are all themes that show the cosmopolitan imagination dependent on these two cities. away from the center of Europe. Through this “great detour” bringing together some sixty artists, Björn Dahlström, head of the New National Museum of Monaco since April, wanted to bring the museum’s collections into dialogue with the Arab Mediterranean world to “rethink the relationship between North and South and write a new page in this connected and often French-speaking history”, although shaped between several contact areas (Monaco, France, Italy, Hungary, Greece, Egypt). Among the 250 works, George Henein, Samir Rafi, Mahamoud Saïd and great discoveries such as Bona Tibertelli de Pisis and Virginia Tentindo.
“Monaco-Alexandria, the big detour. World-Cities and Cosmopolitan Surrealism” at the New National Museum of Monaco – Villa Sauber, until May 2.