El Surrealismo en México: Histories, Reflections, Engagements
Sunday, Nov 17, 2019, 5:00PM - 6:30PM
Osher Lecture Hall
800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
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El Surrealismo en México: Histories, Reflections, Engagements

A lecture with Dr. Arturo Dávila-Sánchez.

Mexico contributed richly to the archives of Surrealism. Although Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera take a great deal of the spotlight, there were many other artists who contributed to the moment in Mexican art, culture, and politics in which surrealist currents played a vital role (not least, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco). Meanwhile, influential Mexican writers like Octavio Paz, José Revueltas, Elena Garro, Juan Rulfo, and many others noted surrealism’s influence on their own contributions to what became known as magical realism (a development they also traced back as far as the incomparable poetry of Sor Juana). We can even found the traces of Surrealism in contemporary Chaicanx art and writing and in Neobaroque poetry. Throughout the course of the last century, such influential figures as Leonora Carrington, André Breton, Luis Buñuel, Remedios Varo, and many others either passed through or made their home in Mexico City. In this afternoon’s lecture, Professor Dávila-Sánchez will explore the rich history of Mexican Surrealism and read some contemporary texts influenced by surrealism.

Arturo Dávila-Sánchez is a poet, translator, writer, and educator. He is Chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Professor of Spanish and Mexican-Latin American Studies at Laney College, Oakland. He is poet laureate in Mexico and Spain where he was awarded three international prizes for the following collections: La ciudad dormida (National Prize “Sor Juana Inės de la Cruz,” Mexico, 1995); Catulinarias (International Prize “Antonio Machado,” Baeza, Spain, 1998); and, Poemas para ser leíos en el Metro (International Prize “Juan Ramón Jimėnez,” Huelva, Spain, 2003). He has recently published for the Mexican magazine nexos & El Cultural.

Image: Arturo Dávila-Sánchez. Courtesy of City Lights.



Inside The Magnetic Fields: Surrealism at 100
On view November 5–24, 2019
Berkeley and San Francisco, California

From November 5 through the 20th of 2019, the Bay Area celebrates the 100th anniversary of Surrealism. City Lights Booksellers and Publishers in conjunction with the University of California at Berkeley’s Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, U.C. Berkeley’s Consortium on Surrealism at 100 (organized by U.C Berkeley’s Program in Critical Theory), Alley Cat Bookstore, Canessa Gallery, Consul General of Mexico, Goethe Institut San Francisco, The Lucid Foundation, Mechanics' Institute Library, The MIT Press, San Francisco Art Institute, University of Minnesota Press, and the Weinstein Gallery present a festival of lectures, panel discussions, film screenings, music, and performance exploring the historic, aesthetic, and political aspects of surrealism with a particular focus on the remarkably international, diverse character of the movement.

Participants in INSIDE THE MAGNETIC FIELDS will include Will Alexander, Jacqueline Baas, Fariba Bogzaran, Carolyn Burke, James Leo Cahill, Garrett Caples, Norma Cole, Gillian Conoley, Arturo Dávila-Sánchez, John Heartfield, Andrew Joron, Stuart Kendall, Susan Laxton, Allison Lovejoy, David Marriott, Michael Palmer, Penelope Rosemont, Jennifer Shaw, Abigail Susik, Anne Walsh, and others. For a complete list scroll down this page.

Subjects explored during the festival will include Automatic Writing and Psychoanalysis, Surrealist Women, The BEATS and Surrealism, George Bataille, Surrealism in Film, Surrealist Music, the gender-bending Surrealism of Claude Cahun, the Chicago Surrealists, the work of Gordon Onslow Ford, the spirit of play in Surrealism, and more. Events are free except where otherwise noted.

To learn more visit, or contact Peter Maravelis at