“The exhibition Fantastic Women – Surreal Worlds from Meret Oppenheim to Frida Kahlo at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art is the first major general presentation of female Surrealists. More than 260 works by 34 artists from the USA, Mexico and Europe demonstrate how their involvement and participation in the movement was greater than previously known and described. The exhibition presents works by among others Meret Oppenheim, Louise Bourgeois, Leonora Carrington, Dora Maar, Lee Miller and Frida Kahlo.
Goddess, she-devil, doll, fetish, child-woman or wonderful dream-creation – the woman or the idea of the feminine was the central element in the male Surrealists’ imaginations. At first the female artists became part of the inner circle of Surrealism primarily as models, but soon they broke out of the traditional roles and manifested themselves with their own works.
The exhibition shows how they worked within themes, which in many cases were already associated with Surrealism, but also how they differ from the male artists. The aspect that most clearly differentiates the female Surrealists from their male colleagues is the inversion of perspective. The female artists sought a (new) female identity model. This often involved an investigation of their own reflections and playing with various roles.” — Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Bridget Tichenor, The Surrealists/The Specialists, 1956. Oil on Mazonite, 40 x 30,2 cm. Private Collection, Mexico © Bridget Tichenor
Claude Cahun, Self-portrait (I am in Training… Don’t Kiss Me), ca. 1927. Vintage gelatin silver print, 11,7 x 8,9 cm. Private Collection © Claude Cahun
Frida Kahlo, Selfportrait with thorn necklace and hummingbird, 1940. Oil on canvas mounted to board. Collection of Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin, Nickolas Muray Collection of Modern Mexican Art © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museum Trust / VISDA 2020
Jacqueline Lamba, André Breton, Yves Tanguy, Cadavre exquis, 1938. Collage on paper, The Mayor Gallery, London © VISDA 2020
Jane Graverol, The School of Vanity, 1967. Oil and collage on cardboard, 62 x 98 cm. Rosine Ortmans, © Jane Graverol / VISDA 2020. Photo: Renaud Schrobiltgen
Kay Sage, At the Appointed Time, 1942. Oil on canvas. Newark Museum of Art, Bequest of Kay Sage Tanguy, 1964 © Estate of Kay Sage/ VISDA 2020
Leonor Fini, Chtonian Deity Watching over the Sleep of a Young Man, 1946. Oil on Canvas, 27,9 x 41,3 cm. Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco and Francis Naumann Gallery, New York © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Leonora Carrington, Self-portrait, ca. 1937/38. Oil on canvas, 65 x 81.3 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York © Leonora Carrington / VISDA 2020
Louise Bourgeois, Torso, Self-Portrait, 1963-64. Bronze, painted white, wall piece, 62,9 x 40,6 x 20 cm. Collection the Easton Foundation © The Easton Foundation / VISDA
Toyen, Le Paravent, 1966. Oil and collage on canvas. Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris © VISDA 2020
Meret Oppenheim, Venus Primitive, 1933-62. Painted terracotta, glaced straw, 64 x 26,5 x 20 cm. Kunstmuseum Solothurn © Meret Oppenheim / VISDA 2020
Remedios Varo, Creación con rayos astrales, 1955. Oil and tempera on masonite, 67,4 x 42,6 cm. Private Colleciton, Courtesy ART VIA Collection © VISDA 2020
Frida Kahlo, The Little Deer, 1946. Oil on masonite, 22.5 x 30.3 cm. Private Collection © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museum Trust / VISDA 2019. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Leonora Carrington, Portrait of the late Mrs. Partridge, 1947. Oil on wood, 100.3 x 69.9 cm. Private Collection © Leonora Carrington / VISDA 2019. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago
Exhibition is organized by curator Kirsten Degel.
Images courtesy Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark.