Queer Surrealisms: Toyen

ClientModerna Museet
DateStockholm, August 2018
Tags, , , , ,

A conversation with Rado Istok and Ladislav Zikmund Lender. In Eleutheria: A Public Programme on Queer Heritage


With her profoundly queer and erotic works, Toyen stands out as a key figure in contemporary accounts of the Surrealist movement. Toyen was born in Prague in 1902 as Marie Cermínová. In the 1920s, she adopted her gender-neutral artistic name, which refers to the French word citoyen (citizen). Despite her relevance, Toyen has remained marginal within the art historical canon.

Toyen’s profoundly queer and erotic works, as well as her androgynous persona and her rejection of the gender binary place her as a key figure in contemporary accounts of the surrealist movement. Her approach to sexuality and the subconscious suggests another form of surrealism which resists heteronormativity.

Looking at Toyen’s work through a contemporary lens reveals the ways in which queerness has been excluded from conventional art history, underlining the need to reclaim the concept today, in the context of, but also beyond, the discourses generated during the Pride festival.

Queer Surrealisms: Toyen featured as #1 activity of the week for Europride in Dagens Nyheter, Sweden’s most prominent newspaper

Eleutheria is a public programme for EUNIC Stockholm with the generous support of Czech Institute and Embassy in Sweden