Monday, April 30, 2012

Recommended: In Wonderland at LACMA

This past weekend, I finally got a chance to see "In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States," which is on view at the LACMA only until May 6!  Ever since I read the description for this art exhibit I had been wanting to check it out.  In part it read:  "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 show has been very widely promoted on streets all over Los Angeles with large ad-banners featuring a self-portrait of Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird. (A detail of which is seen here on this blog). As I knew this was going to be group show featuring many artists, I was a bit worried that this show would only have one of Kahlo's pieces in the collection, but I was very happily surprised that they had seven of her paintings--including one of her most famous (and larger pieces), Los Dos Fridas, which is a real treat to see up close.

With over 170 paintings, sculptures, photographs in this exhibit, it was a great opportunity for me to discover new artists that I had never heard of before.  One of the artists that stood out the most to me was Remedios Varo, a Spanish-born artist, who worked in Paris before fleeing to Mexico during the Nazi Occupation.  She had a couple of beautiful paintings in the exhibit, including one titled, Papilla estelar (Celestial Pablum), which was very dreamy, but also evoked some sadness.

By the time some of you read this, it may already be too late to see this exhibit.  However, there is a companion book, and although it is pricey ($60) it is worth purchasing and is available in English, Spanish and French.

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