A telephone receiver morphs into a lobster. A steam engine emerges from a fireplace mantle. Clocks melt in a wasteland. Surrealism began in Paris, in 1924, influenced by Dada and defined by André Breton, who wrote that the movement resolved “the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality into an absolute reality, a super reality.” Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Max Ernst—these are Surrealism’s usual suspects. But the movement proliferated around the world and was soon part of the artistic lexicon from Eastern Europe to the Caribbean, from Asia to North Africa, Oceania, and Latin America. Eight decades of Surrealist work, produced across 45 countries, are on display at the Met. —E.C.