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Record attendance of more than 100,000 visitors for Bozar’s centenary exhibition on Surrealism

13:57 04/06/2024

Bozar’s exhibition Histoire de ne pas rire. Surrealism in Belgium has attracted a record attendance of over 100,000 visitors since it opened on 21 February.

Due to its success, the Brussels arts centre is organising late-night openings from 13 June until its closure on 16 June. The exhibition will be exceptionally open from 18.00 to 22.00 on these four dates. Free guided tours are also scheduled on 14 and 15 June from 18.30 to 20.00.

Devoted to Surrealism in Belgium, the ambitious show presents over 260 works that trace the origins and evolution of the powerful 20th century avant-garde movement.

The flagship celebration of the centenary of the influential movement – it was founded in Paris in 1924 – is also a banner event for the cultural programme of the country’s current presidency of the EU council.


Beyond Magritte’s iconic images, such as Le Double (pictured above), the exhibition presents three generations of Belgian artists and writers who for 75 years passionately and collaboratively forged their own pioneering vision. Their inspiration and influence was formative to pop-art and persists today.

Among the artists and writers presented are Jane Graverol, Marcel Mariën, Rachel Baes, E.L.T. Mesens, Leo Dohmen, Paul Delvaux, Max Ernst, Salvador Dalí and Giorgio De Chirico.

For Bozar, the successful exhibition joins the list of its most popular exhibitions n recent years, including Keith Haring (184,884 visitors in 2019-2020), David Hockney (166,136 visitors in 2021), Michaël Borremans (144,000 visitors in 2014), Frida Kahlo (118,000 visitors in 2010) and Beyond Klimt (100,827 visitors in 2018).

From 7 June, visitors can enjoy an extra post-exhibition afterglow on Bozar Rooftop, which offers drinks, light snacks, music and stunning views over the city skyline. The pop-up experience is open until 23.00.

Photo: Bozar/Yannick Sas; René Magritte, The Double Secret ©succession Magritte – Sabam Belgium 2024

Written by The Bulletin