Arts / Museums

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Unfolds A World of Surrealism In Its Newest Exhibit

Get Ready To Explore Reality In A Dreamlike State With "Surrealism and Us"

BY // 03.07.24

Some words are simply overused and often misunderstood. Words like “literally” and “curated” immediately come to mind. You hear them in everyday conversation. Another such word is “surreal.” The common definition seemingly applies to anything we find unbelievable or hard to describe. But, surrealism as an art form is much broader than that. It takes the viewer on magical journeys, exploring complex, even disturbing, subject matter at a safer distance. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth opens its newest exhibit on March 10 — Surrealism and Us: Caribbean and African Diasporic Artists since 1940.

Surrealism began in the wake of the First World War ― an artistic response to the horrific scenes unfolding all around them. When reality is simply too gruesome to approach, surrealism’s detached and dream state allows for both artist and viewer to explore the subject matter as a work of fantasy or fiction. The truth is all there ― but it’s not a biography.

Surrealism and Us – Butterfly Girl by Salnave Philippe-Auguste on display at The Modern. (Photo by Courtney Dabney)
Butterfly Girl by Salnave Philippe-Auguste is on display at The Modern. (Photo by Courtney Dabney)

The Inspiration Behind The New Exhibit

Curator María Elena Ortiz chose to look at this vast genre by limiting Surrealism and Us to a thematic exhibition, “inspired by the history of Surrealism in the Caribbean with connections to notions of the Afrosurreal in the United States.” An essay by Suzanne Césaire, “1943: Surrealism and Us” was her springboard.

She curated this exhibit from a historical lens ― the exhibition presents over 80 works from the 1940s to the present day.

“Reason brought the war to Europe and the Nazi regime to power,” Ortiz explains. “Surrealism turns away from reality, towards dreams and spirituality. And, many such artists fleeing the war, wound up in the Caribbean.”

“The artists use surrealism to create a new worldview,” she says. “We are all part of this narrative with different perspectives.”

Elizabeth Anthony

Swipe
ASSAEL
OLYMPIA LE-TAN
EMILY P. WHEELER
EMILY P. WHEELER
MARIA OLIVER
KATHERINE JETTER
MEREDITH YOUNG
LEIGH MAXWELL
MEREDITH YOUNG
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
  • Elizabeth Anthony Card Deck April 2024 1
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth Surrealism and Us
A view of lush beauty and servitude in Henri-Robert Bresil’s Untitled Landscape. (Photo by Courtney Dabney)

Surrealism and The Black Experience

“Opening in 2024, the centennial anniversary of the publication of André Breton’s first Surrealist manifesto, the exhibition rethinks the history of modernism through the lens of Black and diasporic thinking, and in light of contemporary dialogues on Blackness and Caribbean art,” The Modern says.

“The Black experience is full of contradictions,” Ortiz explains, “having to negotiate being seen and unseen.”

The media spans painting, sculpture, drawing, video, and installation, and the subject matter ranges from Christianity to Haitian voodoo, and from the legacy of British colonialism to the African diaspora. It juxtaposes the beauty of the Caribbean landscape with its inevitable hurricanes and disease.

“Centered on the intersection of Caribbean aesthetics, Afrosurrealism, and Afrofuturism, this exhibition explores how artists have interpreted a modernist movement,” The Modern says.

“Artworks, framed within a pre-existing history of Black resistance and creativity, illustrate how Caribbean and Black artists reinterpreted the European avant-garde for their own purposes.”

Tickets are available now, and The Modern hosts free gallery admission on Fridays. “Surrealism and Us” will be on view through July 28.

Hop into Bering's this Easter for Egg-citing Finds!
Shop Berings
SHOP NOW

Featured Properties

Swipe
X
X