ST. LOUIS, MO.- The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
presents Dreamscapes, on view February 11August 13, 2011. This exhibition incites questions about the act of dreaminga succession of thoughts, images, sounds or emotions, which the mind experiences during sleep. The artworks on view and their juxtaposition with Tadao Ando's architecture offer new ways to think about the content and purpose of dreams on numerous levels: physiological, psychological, cultural and spiritual.
The concept behind the exhibition began with the Pulitzers Watercourt. Its meditative reflecting pool and hewed boulder - Scott Burtons Rock Settee (1988-89) - create an insular dreamscape in the middle of our city. A glass wall divides the Watercourt from the rest of the Pulitzer building. Similarly, René Magrittes Le monde invisible (The Invisible World) (1954) depicts an incongruous boulder in a room with open glass doors that frame a waterscape beyond. This painting, along with others depicting boulders floating in air, create a unified yet disorienting space out of both the Entrance Gallery and the adjacent Watercourt. Mimicked is a dream that presents ambiguity between indoor and outdoor spaces, refutes gravitys powers, and shuffles a mundane object like a boulder into different settings.
The Main Gallery presents a compelling, stylistically diverse group of twentieth-century works. Paintings by Paul Delvaux and Max Ernst appear alongside those by Philip Guston and Joan Miró, offering viewers a range of fantastic visions and disconcerting scenes. Visitors entering the Cube Gallery may experience the sensation of walking into a dreamers world when they become immersed in the vibrant red hue of Do Ho Suhs Staircase, custom-fitted in Korea for this exhibition. The translucent red nylon staircase, disembodied from its original domestic and geographic context, subverts the rational minds desire to think logically and make valid judgments about objects in space.
Featured in the Lower Gallery is a selection of images created before 1900 that explore dreaming and dream imagery. Albrecht Dürers The Dream of the Doctor (149899), Max Klingers Glove Cycle (1881), and Katharina Fritschs enlarged reproductions of nineteenth-century newspaper illustrations (2007-2008) reveal nightmarish personifications of human fears and desires, all of which prefigure the dream symbolism of Freudian and Jungian psychoanalysis.
Numerous dream experiences occur unexpectedly in the smaller spaces and passageways of the Pulitzer. Visitors are invited to pick up a receiver from one of the telephones located deep within the recesses of the building and listen to the raspy, estranged voice of contemporary artist Janet Cardiff as she recalls a dream she had just moments before waking.