Sullivan Goss is pleased to announce our newest exhibition SURREAL WOMEN: Surrealist Art by American Women. Featuring fifteen artists, this show is a follow up to the gallery’s successful 2021 exhibition titled REAL WOMEN: Realist Art by American Women. The exhibition showcases a wide range of surrealist styles and mediums, comparing and contrasting approaches by women artists from 1934 to the present day. SURREAL WOMEN is timed to coincide with Women’s History Month in March.
Due to the subjective nature of the Surreal, many definitions are possible. It is associated with the subconscious, the dream-like, the absurd, and the odd. Elements of apprehension, disquiet, sublime, and the fantastic show up. One commonality is the exploration and articulation of the artist’s inner states; how these artists project that into their work varies widely.
What these artists have in common is a willingness to embrace their imagination and to follow their intuition. Exquisite draftsmanship also grounds many of the works, especially in Maria Rendón’s precise rendering of a nest, antlers, and a deer and in Susan McDonnell’s Daydream. Patssi Valdez and Sharon Ellis progress the visionary landscape, with Valdez’s interior of marked absence and Ellis’ an almost hallucinatory daydream.
In Betty Lane’s Untitled (A Tree in the Forest) from 1941, the chaos and fear of war combined with her marital difficulties produce an image of almost labyrinthine complexity. It’s hard to read. Darkness and a dead tree lie to the right, but the orange red passage in the upper left with its dangling roots might offer a way out. The need to psychoanalyze these works, however, misses the point. As Dalí so famously quipped, “...just because I don't know the meaning of my art, does not mean it has no meaning.”
And indeed, there is a temptation to psychoanalyze these works of art as we do dreams and minds, but in the end, maybe it’s less important to decipher meaning than to just let the dream be. Admire the beauty, acknowledge the darkness. These dreams and visions are meant to inspire us.
ARTISTS INCLUDED IN THE EXHIBITION:
Rebekah Bogard, Dorothy Churchill Johnson, Sharon Ellis, Pausha Foley, Betty Lane, Helen Lundeberg, Susan McDonnell, Angela Perko, Astrid Preston, Maria Rendón, Lena Rushing, Blakeney Sanford, Susan Tibbles, Patssi Valdez, Monica Wiesblott
HONORING WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH and paying tribute to women who joined the Surrealist Movement that began in France entered the America in the 1920s, Sullivan Goss curators Susan Bush and Jeremy Tessmer chose fifteen contemporary women artists for Surreal Women, on view through April 24th.
Through April 24th, Sullivan Goss will show Surreal Women as a companion exhibition to its REAL WOMEN: Realist Art by American Women exhibition of 2021. The exhibition embraces intuition, bypassing the intellectual constructs of Breton’s infamous manifesto to go straight for the heart.