San Diego Surreal


FEBRUARY 23–JUNE 16, 2019

Curated By Susan M. Anderson

San Diego Surreal reveals the ways in which Surrealism’s range of artistic strategies and visual vocabulary have seeped into our culture while probing the impact the movement has had on artists in San Diego County. Featuring over 50 works of art in a variety of media created over several decades, the exhibition focuses on the work of contemporary artists including Hugo Crosthwaite, Marianela de la Hoz, Einar and Jamex de la Torre, Charles Glaubitz, Jeff Irwin, Cliff McReynolds, Lynn Schuette, Allison Schulnik, Walter Sutin, Jen Trute, and Perry Vasquez, and also includes earlier 20th-century Modernists who drew upon Surrealism such as Dorr Bothwell, Ethel Greene, Harry Sternberg, and Jean Swiggett. Organized by guest curator Susan M. Anderson, San Diego Surreal goes beyond making overt comparisons between the work of the historical Surrealists and these artists, to explore broader more idiosyncratic connections.

There is a rich legacy of Surrealism in California. Several members of poet Andre Breton’s original Surrealist group resided in the state, mainly as refugees during WWII, including Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Stanley William Hayter, Charles Howard, Gordon Onslow Ford, Wolfgang Paalen, and Man Ray. Therefore, for context, the exhibition will include the work of some of these historical Surrealists and others closely aligned with them, such as Hans Burkhardt, Claire Falkenstein, Frederick Kann, Rufino Tamayo, and Dorothea Tanning.

Surrealism’s ultimate goal was nothing less than human liberation. The Surrealists used automatism, a practice utilizing free association and stream of consciousness, to liberate thought, language, and human experience from the oppressive boundaries of rationalism and social convention. A devoted Marxist, Breton also defined Surrealism as a revolt against the social order. In the decades since the founding of the movement in 1924, the Surrealist spirit has revolutionized the arts and pervaded social theory. Surrealism enjoys resurgence today due to the political and social conditions of the times, with its accompanying climate of disillusionment and rebellion.

This exhibition is supported by Bram and Sandy Dijkstra


february, 2019

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march, 2019

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