You may not believe in magic
but something very strange is happening at this very moment.
Your head has dissolved into thin air
and I can see the rhododendrons through your stomach.
It's not that you are dead or anything dramatic like that,
it is simply that you are fading away
and I can't even remember your name.
~Leonora Carrington, The Hearing Trumpet
On view until May 6 at the Los Angeles Museum of Art, In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States. It is fascinating, intense, emotional, beautiful, disturbing, brilliant, funny and sometimes sad. In this amazing exhibition, there is a huge variety of work by amazing and talented women artists.
from the LACMA website ...
"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."
Dorothea Tanning, Xmas 1969
Dorothea Tanning passed after the show opened.
For more about her, her life and work, click here.
I went to the opening night but it was such a huge exhibition, I knew I had to go back. Included in the exhibition are more than 170 paintings, photos, prints and sculptures!
It worked out perfectly to take my Mom when she was in town and we had a fantastic dinner after seeing the show. It was a perfect evening!
Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940
I never paint dreams or nightmares...
I paint my own reality.
The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to,
and I paint whatever passes through my head
without any other consideration.
Frida Kahlo, Sun and Love 1947
Frida Kahlo, The Two Fridas, 1939
Feet, what do I need you for
when I have wings to fly?
Dorothea Tanning, Birthday, 1942
My work is about leaving the door open to the imagination.
Bridget Tichenor, Lideres (Leaders) 1976
Remedios Varo , Creation of the Birds
Rosa Rolanda, Self Portrait 1945
Painting is a need, not a choice.
I found Sylvia Fein's work fascinating! Here is an interview with her, and you can click on her name to go to her website and see her work.
There were so many amazing women artists! Many didn't have websites or even wikipedia pages, so some of my links are a little odd. It is great that the more unknown artists have had a chance to be seen and given their due, along with the more known artists. Here are a few more of the amazing women in the exhibition.
Art is a guarantee of sanity.
That is the most important thing I have said.
Here is the restaurant Ray's, at LACMA, where my Mom and I had dinner. (They also have a good cafeteria at the museum which is where I usually eat!)
Our delicious fish dish!
They have an amazing bar there, with all kinds of crazy, fabulous drinks. I ordered this drink (below.) It was called Owl and the Pussycat and had rum, freshly squeezed lemon juice, simple syrup, chilis and strawberries. Not too sweet and a little spicy! Do you see there is one large square ice cube? The tall drinks have one large, long rectangular ice cube. Not quite sure why I find this so delightful.
The exhibition was organized by LACMA curator Ilene Susan Fort and Tere Arcq of Mexico City's Museum of Modern Art, where it travels next fall, following a stop at
Canada's National Museum of Fine Arts in Québec.
I may actually try to see the show one more time before it closes May 6th. I just found it so inspiring and it opened my brain up to all the creative possibilities in my own art and life, and that there are no limits on how we can express ourselves.
Hope this sends a little creative inspiration your way!
I've been to Hell and back
and let me tell you
it was wonderful.