Trying to live life with sandy toes and laughter
I can’t wait for the Vancouver Art Gallery’s new exhibit to open up! The Colour of My Dreams THE SURREALIST REVOLUTION IN ART officially opens this Saturday but I had the opportunity to attend the Curator Dawn Ades’s lecture last night. I’ve always thought of Salvador Dali as one of my favourite artist but Dawn really opened up my appreciation for surrealism. Here are 4 things that stood out for me from the lecture:
1. While surrealism is known to be linked with Freud and the need to analyse our dreams, the artist’s translation of this often were satirical and humorous statements about the world and society. Makes sense when you think about it… peel away the layers of our conscious and the heavy thoughts that stick tend to be our concern for the world we live in. Humour always helps digest hard truths.
2. Surrealist exhibits back in the day were not just about the paintings but how they were displayed and the environment created. Dawn had some great historical shots of exhibits where galleries were transformed. No white walls full of paintings. Can’t wait to see how the Vancouver Art Gallery has tried to recreate this type of surreal environment (a challenge for sure since the pieces being displayed are now so valuable).
3. Some of the original Surrealist artists spent time here in British Columbia and were inspired by BC aboriginal art. So much so that they collected some of the masks and totems. Some of the native art has been returned and is now on loan to the Gallery for this exhibit. I can just imagine how the aboriginal art would have inspired the artists with its blend of animal and human worlds.
4. The last slide we saw in the lecture was a painting by Leonora Carrington (who sadly passed away at the age of 94 the day they hung it at the VAG exhibit). It struck me how much you could really get lost in the painting. I think it reminded how I could spend hours as a kid staring at Dr. Seuss illustrations in my own daydream. So I guess while these artists attempted to capture their dreams, digesting their work can take you into your own dream world and imagination. There are so many fun gaps in reality left for you to fill in however you want.
Go see it if you can, there’s also Nosferatu, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and even Betty Boop cartoons!