The Surreal Spaces of the Self

Surrealism has returned to center stage in the fine art world and the driving force behind the re-emergence of surreal motifs has largely been defined by female, LGBTQAI+ and BIPOC artists. The new Surrealism has explored many different themes, such as the rejection of patriarchy, deconstructing the male gaze and upending the psychoanalytic concepts that have dominated the interpretation of art over the course of the last century. While the traditional focus of Surrealism has been on the intersection of the personal, the political, the unconscious and the imaginative, today’s Surrealists are equally focused on resisting the resurgence of conservative politics with regard to new forms of policing the body and issues related to personal autonomy.

The new Surrealism is also a global movement, being mobile, dispersed and fugitive. While it is not homogenous, it does represent an existential encounter with how we think about the self, including the process of individuation, dream analysis and visions that defy logical description. In much the same way that the Neo-Expressionists were able to breath new life into an older idiom, today’s Neo-Surrealists have been at the forefront of exploring uncharted territories of the mind, the heart and the soul. By moving beyond the theories of Andre Breton, Georges Bataille and Raoul Vangheim, this new generation of Surrealists has been able to incorporate the concepts of contemporary philosophy and psychoanalysis into their work in a way that speaks to the deepest realities of the psyche.

This survey of the Neo-Surreal includes major voices from the west, the greater southwest and across the U.S. that have been making an impact on how we think about the historical valences of the genre and its potential to speak to the paradoxes of the present. With a critical dictionary of terms included in the catalog and a dedicated look at singular projects, this exhibition attempts to map some of the major works and ideas associated with The New Surrealism. Toward this end, The Surreal Spaces of the Self is an open invitation to explore some of the radical visions that have come to define Neo-Surrealism during the first quarter of the new century. 

Artists in the show: Merryn Alaka & Sam Fresquez, Rachel Bess, Virginia Broersma, Krista Davis & Lily Reeves, Jill Friedberg, Dani Godreau, Stephanie Gonzalez, Swapna Das, Krista Davis, Magda Gluszek, Michelle Carla Handel, Hanna Makkonen, Cydnei Mallory, Constance McBride, Monica Aissa Martinez, Gina Osterloh, Brandi Reed, Maja Ruznic, Patricia Sannit, Katherine Leigh Simpson, Hannah Walsh, Yuko Yabuki and more TBA.



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