Wednesday, 21 September 2016

arte mimi: série CAMPO

arte da Mimi
série CAMPO
setembro 2016

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arte mimi: série aquamulher

arte da Mimi
setembro 2016

AquaMulher nº 1
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AquaMulher nº 2
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Sunday, 11 September 2016

Lost René Magritte mystery 'jigsaw puzzle' piece uncovered in Norwich

Lost René Magritte mystery 'jigsaw puzzle' piece uncovered in Norwich

  • 8 September 2016
  • From the sectionNorfolk

La Pose Enchantée by Rene MagritteImage copyrightLA POSE ENCHANTÉE BY RENE MAGRITTE
Image captionThe existence of René Magritte's La Pose Enchantée was only known about because of a single black and white photo

An "art world jigsaw puzzle" involving one of the 20th Century's best-known painters is close to completion after a discovery in Norwich.
Experts have uncovered a third quarter of a missing René Magritte painting concealed under another of his works in the Norwich Castle Museum collection.
Sections of La Pose Enchantée have also been found in New York and Stockholm.
Museum curator Dr Giorgia Bottinelli said the third quarter had been "hiding for more than 80 years".

Norwich Castle historic art curator Giorgia Bottinelli (left) and conservator Alice Tavares da Silva with the paintingImage copyrightLA CONDITION HUMAINE BY RENE MAGRITTE/NMS
Image captionNorwich Castle historic art curator Giorgia Bottinelli (left) with conservator Alice Tavares da Silva who found the painted edges
Paint on the back of a Magritte canvas
Image captionThe exposed paint on the back of the canvas raised the conservator's suspicions that the piece could be harbouring another painting

In what has been declared a "hugely exciting discovery", it has now been revealed Magritte painted La Condition Humaine over the lower right-hand section of the missing work in 1935.
La Pose Enchantée was exhibited in 1927 but was later returned to Magritte before vanishing about five years later. The Belgian surrealist, who died in 1967, never mentioned its fate.
"What happened to the missing painting is now slowly coming to light in a remarkable series of events," said Dr Bottinelli, the museum's curator of historic art.
"It seems that for some reason, Magritte must have decided to cut the painting into quarters, and then painted four completely different paintings over the top."

La Condition Humaine by Rene MagritteImage copyrightLA CONDITION HUMAINE BY RENE MAGRITTE/NMS
Image captionRene Magritte painted La Condition Humaine over the top of La Pose Enchantée after it was returned to him from an exhibition

Rene Magritte (1898-1967)

  • Rene Magritte was born in Lessines, Belgium
  • He started off as a commercial artist before becoming famous for his surrealist work
  • His paintings have inspired pop and conceptual art, the cover of a Rolling Stones record, a video by Oasis, and a song by Paul Simon
  • Magritte wore a trademark bowler hat and lived in a Brussels suburb
  • He did not have a studio but painted in his lounge
  • A Magritte sold for $11.5m (about £8.6m) in New York in 2002
  • A museum dedicated to his work opened in Brussels in 2009

Art conservator Alice Tavares da Silva was preparing La Condition Humaine for a major Magritte retrospective in Paris later this month when she discovered the edges and reverse of the canvas had some exposed paint.
She noted it as unusual, then found experts at New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) had discovered the first piece in 2013 underneath a painting called The Portrait, also from 1935, after it was analysed.
The Red Model, painted the same year, in Stockholm's Moderna Museet was also found to be masking a part.
The Hamilton-Kerr Institute at Cambridge University used an X-ray fluorescence technique to confirm Ms Tavares da Silva's hunch.
La Pose Enchantée's existence was only known because of a single black and white photo, but the Norwich discovery will add to MoMA's existing colour reconstruction.

X-ray of La Pose Enchantée by Rene MagritteImage copyrightLA POSE ENCHANTÉE BY RENE MAGRITTE/NMS
Image captionAn X-ray analysis of La Pose Enchantée by Rene Magritte showed the underlying painted figures

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Saturday, 27 August 2016



The best that cinema has had to offer since 2000 as picked by 177 film critics from around the world.
“They don’t make ‘em like they used to.”
How often have we all heard that resigned expression? How often have we said it ourselves? ‘The death of cinema’ is debated in university film studies programs worldwide. Critics lament the loss of 'small movies' in favour of superhero spectacles. Box-office analysts look for signs of an industry on the brink. Studio executives fear that video-on-demand may destroy the idea of going to the cinema more than broadcast and cable TV ever did.
And what can we really call a new classic? What in recent vintage can hold its own on the big screen with the likes of The Searchers, The Godfather, The Rules of the Game, Seven Samurai or Citizen Kane? Some film journalists even think the movie star is a thing of the past.
Perhaps the fault lies not in our movie stars, but in ourselves. If you can’t find masterpieces amid the blockbuster flotsam, you simply aren’t looking hard enough. Film-making today, whether massively expensive or made with tiny budgets, shot on celluloid or video, is thriving artistically as much as it ever has. But today you’ll find greater diversity in the kinds of films being made, if not in the people who are making them. That’s why we, the editors of BBC Culture, decided to commission a poll of critics to determine the 100 greatest films of the 21st Century. Last year, we asked critics to namethe greatest American films of all time, and we were surprised that only six films made since 2000 made the top 100. Is there a feeling that time sanctifies a classic? Perhaps. But this time, we wanted to prove that this century has given us films that will stand the test of time, that you will continue to think about and argue about if only you give them a chance and watch them.
For our poll to determine the 100 greatest American films, we surveyed 62 film critics from around the world. This time, we received responses from 177 – from every continent except Antarctica. Some are newspaper or magazine reviewers, others write primarily for websites; academics and cinema curators are well-represented too. For the purposes of this poll we have decided that a list of the greatest films of the 21st Century should include the year 2000, even though we recognise that there was no ‘Year Zero’ and that 2001 is mathematically the start of the century. Not only did we all celebrate the turn of the millennium on 31 December 1999, but the year 2000 was a landmark in global cinema, and, in particular, saw the emergence of new classics from Asia like nothing we had ever seen before.
We believe that the new classics on this list are destined to become old classics. Whether or not that happens is ultimately up to you, the moviegoers. But one thing is certain: cinema isn’t dying, it’s evolving.
100. Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade, 2016)
100. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000)
100. Carlos (Olivier Assayas, 2010)
99. The Gleaners and I (Agnès Varda, 2000)
98. Ten (Abbas Kiarostami, 2002)
97. White Material (Claire Denis, 2009)
96. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, 2003)
95. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson, 2012)
94. Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
93. Ratatouille (Brad Bird, 2007)
92. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007)
91. The Secret in Their Eyes (Juan José Campanella, 2009)
90. The Pianist (Roman Polanski, 2002)
89. The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, 2008)
88. Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)
87. Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
86. Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)
85. A Prophet (Jacques Audiard, 2009)
84. Her (Spike Jonze, 2013)
83. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001)
82. A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2009)
81. Shame (Steve McQueen, 2011)
80. The Return (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2003)
79. Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2000)
78. The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese, 2013)
77. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Julian Schnabel, 2007)
76. Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003)
75. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014)
74. Spring Breakers (Harmony Korine, 2012)
73. Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, 2004)
72. Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch, 2013)
71. Tabu (Miguel Gomes, 2012)
70. Stories We Tell (Sarah Polley, 2012)
69. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2015)
68. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)
67. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2008)
66. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (Kim Ki-duk, 2003)
65. Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold, 2009)
64. The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino, 2013)
63. The Turin Horse (Béla Tarr and Ágnes Hranitzky, 2011)
62. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, 2009)
61. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer, 2013)
60. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)
59. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005)
58. Moolaadé (Ousmane Sembène, 2004)
57. Zero Dark Thirty (Kathryn Bigelow, 2012)
56. Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, director; Ágnes Hranitzky, co-director, 2000)
55. Ida (Paweł Pawlikowski, 2013)
54. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, 2011)
53. Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)
52. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)
51. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)
50. The Assassin (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 2015)
49. Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard, 2014)
48. Brooklyn (John Crowley, 2015)
47. Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)
46. Certified Copy (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)
45. Blue Is the Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
44. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
43. Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011)
42. Amour (Michael Haneke, 2012)
41. Inside Out (Pete Docter, 2015)
40. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)
39. The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005)
38. City of God (Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund, 2002)
37. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2010)
36. Timbuktu (Abderrahmane Sissako, 2014)
35. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)
34. Son of Saul (László Nemes, 2015)
33. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
32. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)
31. Margaret (Kenneth Lonergan, 2011)
30. Oldboy (Park Chan-wook, 2003)
29. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)
28. Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar, 2002)
27. The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010)
26. 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)
25. ​Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000)
24. The Master (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012)
23. Caché (Michael Haneke, 2005)
22. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
21. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)
20. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)
19. Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)
18. The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009)
17. Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo Del Toro, 2006)
16. Holy Motors (Leos Carax, 2012)
15. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
14. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, 2012)
13. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006)
12. Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)
11. Inside Llewyn Davis (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2013)
10. No Country for Old Men (Joel and Ethan Coen, 2007)
9. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
8. Yi Yi: A One and a Two (Edward Yang, 2000)
7. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
5. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
4. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001)
3. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
2. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
1. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)
How many of these films have you seen? Let us know with the hashtag #FilmsOfTheCentury on Facebook or Twitter.
And if you liked this story, sign up for the weekly features newsletter, called “If You Only Read 6 Things This Week”. A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Earth, Culture, Capital, Travel and Autos, delivered to your inbox every Friday.

Friday, 5 August 2016

A New Film and Book Seek the True Hieronymus Bosch

A New Film and Book Seek the True Hieronymus Bosch

Bosch scene 2_Ilsink_Saint Christopher_72
Matthijs Ilsink, art historian with Hieronymus Bosch’s “Saint Christopher” (1490–1505) at the Rotterdam Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (image courtesy Kino Lorber)
Roughly 30 minutes into Pieter van Huystee’s first feature-length film, Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil, Gabriele Finaldi, former deputy director of conservation and research at the Museo del Prado in Madrid, gives a sterling, succinct answer as to why El Bosco (as the Dutch artist is known in Spain) and his works are a source of continual fascination and study:
One of the reasons why Bosch is so successful and so admired is precisely because his work goes beyond that of a mere illustrator. Here is a fertile, inventive mind who is doing new things with traditional subjects and it’s that charge of originality, of invention. … [He’s] an artist who is extraordinarily brilliant and provides a new vision of things.
Hieronymus Bosch_cover_72
Cover of ‘Hieronymus Bosch: Visions and Nightmares’ by Nils Büttner (Reaktion Books, 2016) (image courtesy Reaktion Books) (click to enlarge)
Bosch and his unique vision have certainly endured. This year marks the quincentenary of his death (c.1450–1516), and widespread interest in the Old Master and his oeuvre shows no sign of waning. Currently playing at New York City’s Film Forum, Touched by the Devil (2015) goes behind the scenes of preparations for a celebratory, large-scale exhibition in the artist’s hometown of ’s-Hertogenbosch at the Noordbrabants Museum. (It was on view from February 13 through May 8, 2016.) The film investigates the process of authenticating Bosch’s artworks — a premise it shares with art historian Nils Büttner’s new book, Hieronymus Bosch: Visions and Nightmares (Reaktion Books, 2016). Büttner delves especially into what might have motivated the Dutchman to paint his signature imagery of puckish demons and the expanses between paradise and purgatory. Both the film and the book seek to find the true Bosch, the enigmatic figure whose portrayals of the afterlife, whether serene or infernal, serve as admonitions to mortals concerned for their souls. His transcendental visions of heaven and hell have saturated the consciousness of admirers for over 500 years.
The documentary begins with the Bosch Research and Conservation Project (BRCP), as its members travel to multiple sites across Europe and the United States in an attempt to properly attribute 25 works to the artist and bring them home, so to speak, for display; ’s-Hertogenbosch does not have a permanent collection of art by its native son.
Bosch close up 2_Garden_Earthly_Delights_72
Hieronymus Bosch, “The Garden of Delights” (circa 1494–1516) (detail), Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (image courtesy Kino Lorber)
The team of scholars, conservators, and scientists has adopted a “standardized approach” for its mission, using advancements in modern technology, conservation, and art history to scrutinize the paintings. They rigorously inspect the works to create typologies that form the basis of a comparative analysis: Do the brushstrokes that compose “The Garden of Earthly Delights” (c. 1503) match those observed in “The Last Judgment” (c. 1505)? How are owls, ears, or staffs standard or dissimilar across each of Bosch’s canvasses?
Through techniques such as infrared photography and reflectography, X-radiography and dendrochronology, members of the BRCP are able to carefully examine both the surface paintings and underdrawings, noting discrepancies between layers and often across different areas of one piece, leading some scholars to suspect the involvement of multiple hands in the creation of a single artwork.Touched by the Devil immerses its audience in these processes through close-up shots of the team as they photograph, polish, and slice the wood that frames the masterpieces under review. In the end, the team dismisses two works previously recognized as Bosches, while the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City learns that “The Temptation of Saint Anthony” (1500–10) it holds is legitimate.
Bosch scene 3_Spronk_Prado_72
Ron Spronk, technical art historian, with Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Delights” (circa 1494–1516), Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (image courtesy Kino Lorber)
At times, we follow the team members, observing their discussions amongst each other in the archives and galleries they visit. We’re also privy to meetings among curators and phone calls between museums’ staff. But in a way it is van Huystee’s camera that is the most compelling character, as it assumes the role of auxiliary team member while simultaneously becoming a careful observer. The opening sequence immerses the viewer immediately, as the camera zooms in on the cracks and fissures in the surface of the paint. Some of the most thoughtful scenes are slow pans over particular elements of a canvas, allowing the viewer to get a sustained look at a mischievous demon or saint’s face. Given that Bosch’s works are often highly detailed cacophonies of figural shapes, the time to narrow in on select images and focus is appreciated.
Johannes Wierix (?), Hieronymus Bosch (1572), engraving (image courtesy Reaktion Books) (click to enlarge)
In Visions and Nightmares, Büttner gives particular weight to the techniques employed by the BRCP, as he aims to give a comprehensive overview of Bosch’s life and insight into the artist’s motivations for his paintings, based solely on those that have been definitively authenticated. Büttner looks to information that can be traced back to historical record, and is clear about this from the first chapter, stating that “although the large body of surviving material evidence, the pictures, records, and documents, do not determine what can or should be said about the historical context, they do determine what cannot be said. What follows can be said.”
Mythology surrounding Bosch has incorrectly labeled him a heretic or practitioner of witchcraft. In his introductory biography of the artist, Büttner mines previous research to dispel theories about Bosch’s life and work that portray interpretation as fact and look for evidence of impious behavior in the bizarre scenes of depravity he conjured. Büttner’s dense prose informs and educates in a manner typical of academic texts, though the illustrations and relatively short length keeps its verbosity from becoming intolerable, placing importance on Bosch’s relationship to religion and his membership within the Brotherhood of Our Lady, a confraternity comprised of clerics and the socially connected. His artworks emerged from an environment imbued with theology and his patrons’ commissions were variations on religious narratives. Known for visually representing the choice humans face when confronted with the temptation of sin, or what might await a soul in limbo, as in “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” “Adoration of the Magi” (c. 1485–1500), or “St. Jerome at Prayer” (c. 1495), Bosch actually incorporates more realism than the fantastical into his scenes.
Bosch scene 4_Ilsink_Flood_and_Hell_72
Matthijs Ilsink, art historian, with Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Flood and Hell,” Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (image courtesy Kino Lorber)
Bosch’s innovative approach to his art spawned countless imitators and assumptions about what it all might mean, but both van Huystee’s film and Büttner’s book attach more importance to his life and work. The paintings are instructive, divulging what might happen to people consumed by sin and those who fight it. Bosch’s style set him apart from his contemporaries precisely because of the speculative nature of the work. Who knows for sure what happens to a soul in hell? One could only imagine what horrors would await. But Bosch made visual this “what if?” in such idiosyncratic ways that scholars continue to try to pinpoint, to confirm what makes Bosch really a Bosch, a question that continues to captivate viewers centuries after his death.
Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil by Pieter van Huystee is screening at Film Forum (209 W Houston St, West Village, Manhattan) through August 9. Hieronymus Bosch: Visions and Nightmares by Nils Büttner, out from Reaktion Books, is available on Amazon and other online booksellers. 

A Deep Dive into the Legacy of LA’s Surrealists

A Deep Dive into the Legacy of LA’s Surrealists

Cameron, “Sebastian (Imaginary Portrait of Kenneth Anger)” (1962), ink and gouache on paper, 20 x 30 inches (all images courtesy the artist and Richard Telles Fine Art)
LOS ANGELES — The official Made in L.A. show is at the Hammer Museum, but a felicitous counterpoint is currently at Richard Telles in the Fairfax district. Made in L.A., the third in a biannual exhibition at the museum, features artists who are already highly regarded, or else anointed as up-and-coming, whereas Telles presents a historical group show of 20th-century LA surrealists who, in many cases, were never much known outside their own circle. Curated by Max Maslansky (himself a Made in L.A. alumnus from 2014), Tinseltown in the Rain is a deep dive into an important aspect of this city’s art history that has much to offer to our present moment.
Robert Williams, “Ernestine and the Venus of Polyethylene” (1968), oil on canvas with ground fish-scale highlights, 50.25 x 29.5 inches (click to enlarge)
Made in L.A. includes a lot of artists addressing Los Angeles and its film industry in particular, most obviously Daniel Small’s excavation of Cecil B. DeMille’s destroyed set for The Ten Commandments. Telles’s small, focused show demonstrates how Surrealism permeated Hollywood, presenting a selection of videos including Loony Tunes and Disney animations, as well as films including “Meshes of the Afternoon” by Maya Deren and her husband at the time, Alexander Hammid. Oskar Fischinger’s synesthetic/psychedelic “Optical Poem” (1937) is a stop-motion animation of colorful geometric shapes set to Franz Liszt’s Second Hungarian Rhapsody. It feels a lot like early special effects on MTV and has a strong kinship with Kandinsky’s fusion of music and visual art. Maslansky’s well-researched exhibition essay recounts how Walt Disney hired European émigrés, including artists in this show, who inflected the company’s visuals with the surreal imagery they brought with them from the continent.
Sharing the video room are mostly photographs, of which I was particularly taken with William Leavitt’s “Random Selection: Bag, Glove, Fire, Mice” (1969), consisting of three photographs of unrelated items arranged to imply peculiar narratives — the middle picture shows two stuffed mice seemingly escaping from a paper bag along with two gloves that have come to life, one of them bursting oddly into flames. Edmund Teske’s two images titled “George Herms, Topanga Canyon” (1962) find Herms standing naked in the chaparral like a dazed amnesiac. The single painting in this room is a knockout by Robert Williams (who also made art for Zap Comix), “Ernestine and the Venus of Polyethylene” (1968) depicting a nude woman standing below a towering red female statue, seen from below and balloon-like in form, appearing to be made of highly reflective stainless steel. In this bizarre image Williams anticipates both Jeff Koons and John Currin (Currin seems to have learned the figure from Williams as much as from the van Eyck brothers). The impressively shiny highlights on the balloon-woman are made with ground fish scales, a material I would not have expected to survive for half a century.
Installation view of ‘Tinseltown in the Rain: The Surrealist Diaspora in Los Angeles 1935–1969’ at Richard Telles, Los Angeles
All the other paintings and drawings are hung in the main gallery, on a single wall beginning at eye level and ascending toward the ceiling, salon-style. I felt as though I had walked into Gertrude Stein’s Parisian home, which was fun, though I had a crick in my neck by the time I left the gallery (we must suffer for art). On this wall the influence of Picasso looms large, with a few other canvases taking after Dalí or Klee. The work in this room clarifies that these LA artists, though many hailed from Europe, were not your mother’s (or grandmother’s) Surrealists. You will not find dream-like scenes à la Max Ernst, for example, but will instead see less familiar strains of Surrealism that grew out of the original experiments in the Continent.
Leavitt_RandomSelections-300 (1)
William Leavitt, “Random Selection: Bag, Glove, Fire, Mice” (1969), unique black and white photos (3 parts), 15.5 x 19.5 inches each (click to enlarge)
Cameron’s work stuck in my mind with its witchy mystery. Her ink drawing “Sebastian (Imaginary Portrait of Kenneth Anger)” (1962) portrays Anger, her husband, as both female and male, melting into the earth while a house sits either atop or behind him. Her untitled drawing of a demon is alive with elusive energies. Cameron at times burned her work sacrificially, “not as a symbolic gesture,” Maslansky writes, “but as a means to reach deities.” Noah Purifoy has a smashed metal canteen in a wooden frame, simple and forceful, with the well-chosen title “Pressure” (1966). An assemblage piece by Ed Kienholz, “My Mother Was an Antique Table” (c. 1956), is a tall rectangular panel pierced by a semicircle of dowels toward the top, which are encircled by looping skeins of paint that trickle down. The work retains power despite the abundance of such work ever since Rauschenberg, a signal that Kienholz had a tremendous visual instinct. Beatrice Wood’s ceramic bas-relief “Three Buttocks” (ca. 1960s) is exactly what its title suggests, and feels uniquely fitting to our present moment in American presidential politics in which our Republican presidential candidate’s statements sound mostly like flatulence. I am reminded of the Mike Judge 2006 satire “Idiocracy,” which imagines the latest hit movie to be a two-hour close-up of somebody’s ass periodically farting.
Why look at Surrealism now? Far from being a throwback exhibition, the concerns of this period speak with sharp urgency. Fifteen of the exhibited works were made just before or during World War II, the remainder as the US was ramping up to the social upheaval of the 1960’s and ‘70s. Our 21st century has much in common with both these periods. Fascism and hate-based politics are gaining global ground in a manner reminiscent of the late 1930s, and the American social fabric seems to be wearing as disenfranchised populations demand overdue justice. It’s not that any works in this exhibition address these issues, but rather that the deep premise of Surrealism offers a cogent response to political coercion, technocratic authority, and violence. The surreal, with its irrational heartbeat, slips beyond the grasp of enforcement, creating a small space for alternative cultures to whisper their secrets.
Tinseltown in the Rain: The Surrealist Diaspora in Los Angeles 1935–1969 continues at Richard Telles through August 13.