PRINT May 1968

1. A Beautiful Exhibition

REFERRING TO THE GROUP OF “Yippies” (protesting the embalming of Surrealism) outside the Museum of Modern Art the night the show opened, Salvador Dali was quoted by Newsweek (April 8, 1968) as saying, “These are the Dadaists of today.” The remark, if Dali made it, must have horrified William S. Rubin who put together a show designed, perhaps, to rehabilitate Dada and Surrealism, but not to revive them, and certainly not to lend authenticity to the tragedy of mindless self-destruction which so many of this nation’s best youth are enacting, both in life and in art.

As shown, perhaps, by Dali’s remark, the Surrealist sensibility is beyond rehabilitation, as silly, quaint and as hapless before the actual facts of the times as, say, a pre-Raphaelite sensibility. To rehabilitate Surrealism today means to make a case for it as art, and this Mr. Rubin has proven himself superbly equipped to attempt

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