The Cincinnati Art Museum
will be the sole U.S. venue for an exhibition that features works by the greatest masters of Dada and Surrealist art, including Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Joan Miró, Jean (Hans) Arp, Man Ray, Kurt Schwitters, Hannah Höch, and Paul Delvaux. Surrealism and Beyond in the Israel Museum provides a comprehensive survey of Surrealist art from its roots in the beginnings of the Dada movement in 1916, through recent manifestations in international contemporary art. The exhibitionon view from February 15 through May 17, 2009will showcase over 250 works. Entrance to this special exhibition will be free.
Organized thematically, Surrealism and Beyond offers an in-depth look at the Dada and Surrealist legacy across a full range of artistic strategies and mediums, including painting, sculpture, assemblage, readymade, photomontage, collage, and film. All major practitioners are represented, along with contemporary artists influenced by them.
These are very exciting works drawn from one of the finest collections of Surrealist art in the world, said Art Museum director Aaron Betsky. Surrealism and Beyond will present exceptional works known across the world by such noted artists as Dalí, Magritte, Miro, and Picasso, as well as significant pieces by lesser known artists such as Paul Delvaux,, and Andre Masson.
The exhibition presents the finest examples of the Surrealist and Dada movements culled from the more than 1,200 works in the Dada and Surrealist holdings of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. The Israel Museum is recognized as a leading international repository for research and display in these important modernist movementsmost notably through the 1998 gift to the Museum of the Vera and Arturo Schwarz Collection of Dada and Surrealist Art.
Curated by Adina Kamien-Kazhdan, David Rockefeller Curator of Modern Art at the Israel Museum, and at the Cincinnati Art Museum by Benedict Leca, Curator of European Painting, Sculpture and Drawings, Surrealism and Beyond is organized in five themes:
Marvelous Juxtapositions explores the use of found and readymade materials. Fragments of the everyday world are placed together unexpectedly to shock, seduce, and disorient the viewer. Highlights include: Duchamps Fountain (1917/1964), credited with introducing Dada to American art; and Hannah Höchs Dada-Dance (1922), which brings together disparate images taken from mass media to critique gender roles and politics in Weimar Germany; and Man Rays The Enigma of Isidore Ducasse (1920/1971).
Automatism and Its Evolution focuses on the Surrealists exploration of the minds hidden realms and the limitations of conscious thought. Highlights include: automatic drawings by André Masson, Joan Miro's Spanish Dancer, and Arshile Gorkys The Beginning (1947), which uses automatic drawing to create mystery and ambiguity.
Biomorphism and Metamorphosis reflects the Surrealist tendency to favor ambiguous and organic shapes and to take inspiration from anatomy, plants, bodies of water, and astronomy. Two examples include Jean (Hans) Arps Fruit Torso (1960), and Max Ernsts bronze sculpture King Playing with the Queen (1944), which reveals the influences of Hopi Indian Kachina dolls and Western African cultures.
Illusion and Dreamscape examines the Surrealist belief in the potential of dreams and the imagination. Magrittes poetic inventions, for example, are seemingly simple images replete with complex associations and illusions. Exhibition highlights include a 1959 painting The Castle of the Pyrenees and Claude Cahuns hand-colored photograph Le Coeur de pic (1936).
Desire reveals how artists and poets probed unconscious fantasies, fears, and inhibitions through their work. Many Surrealists used the female body as the focus of unresolved conflicts and anxieties. This section includes Marcel Duchamp's L.H.O.O.Q, and Man Ray's photograph Observatory Time-The Lovers. Mixing humor and provocation, Meret Oppenheims Squirrel (1969) assembles a foaming cup of beer with a furry tail.