In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States
North America represented a place free from European traditions for women Surrealists from the United States and Mexico, and European émigrés. While their male counterparts usually cast women as objects for their delectation, female Surrealists delved into their own subconscious and dreams, creating extraordinary visual images. Their art was primarily about identity: portraits, double portraits, self-referential images, and masquerades that demonstrate their trials and pleasures. The exhibition includes works in a variety of media dating from 1931 to 1968, and some later examples that demonstrate Surrealism's influence on the feminist movement. Iconic figures such as Louise Bourgeois, Leonora Carrington, Frida Kahlo, Lee Miller, Kay Sage, Dorothea Tanning, and Remedios Varo are represented, along with lesser known or newly discovered practitioners.
This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico. It was made possible through a generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art.
The organizers are grateful for the special collaboration of the National Council for Culture and the Arts (Conaculta), Mexico, and National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA), Mexico.
The Los Angeles presentation was made possible in part by The Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts and is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Image: Frida Kahlo, Autorretrato con collar de espinas y colibri (Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird), 1940, Oil on canvas, Canvas: 30 x 24 in. (76.2 x 60.96 cm) © Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo courtesy Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
Sometimes we invite artists to respond to exhibitions on view at the museum with web-based projects that we can distribute to our virtual audience. In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States caught the attention of Jody Zellen, who created a free app for iPhone and iPad inspired by a popular surrealist parlor game known as the “exquisite corpse...
LACMA’s special exhibition In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States is, in some peculiar way, like a well-kept secret or a lost island of beautiful visions the collective grandeur of which adds so much more to the understanding of surrealism as a movement and expresses so much more about women than any art movement I could name...