In February, the magazine Architectural Forum published an extensive portrait about Kiesler under the title “Design’s Bad Boy.”
During this year, Kiesler was significantly involved in the design of two surrealist exhibitions. The show Bloodflames 1947, curated by Nicolas Calas, opened on 3 March in the Hugo Gallery in New York. Kiesler’s design concept staged the artworks—Arshile Gorky, David Hare, Wifredo Lam, and Isamu Noguchi were among the participants—on the one hand through their positioning (on the floor, on the ceiling, placed obliquely) and on the other through colorfully painted exhibition rooms.
Kiesler spent May through September in Paris, where the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme initiated by André Breton and Marcel Duchamp opened at the Galerie Maeght on 7 July. He was the architect responsible for the design of two areas (Salle de Pluie, Le Dédale); for the third, the Salle de Superstition [Room of superstitions], he also conceived the content. Kiesler leveraged the opportunity to visualize the unity of the arts (architecture, painting, sculpture) and created a Gesamtkunstwerk on the topic of superstition with the involvement of Roberto Matta, Joan Miró, and Yves Tanguy, among others. More detailed explications about the unity of the arts he was proclaiming followed in Kiesler’s trailblazing “Manifeste du Corréalisme,” which appeared two years later in a special edition of the magazine L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui.
Kiesler’s stay in Paris marked the beginning of his autonomous work in painting and sculpture. In the years to follow, he would create portraits of numerous artist friends, including Marcel Duchamp, Hans Arp, and Wifredo Lam, works he designated as Galaxial Portraits.