When you hear the word “surrealism,” chances are that your mind conjures up images of clocks melting, and you have a vague feeling of … confusion? … as to where the image came from. Like Salvador Dali’s famous painting The Persistence of Memory (which is the one you are remembering, by the way, but perhaps didn’t know its name), surrealism is a movement born out of the unconscious in order to free the imagination. The Surrealist movement began in Paris in the 1920s, and eventually expanded from the literary world into the art world.
On display at Krannert Art Museum from now until July 28 is an exhibit entitled Surrealism and Its Influence. The exhibit focuses on a few of the first surrealist artists, including Roberto Matta and Yves Tanguy, and notable American artists influenced by their work such as William Baziotes, Jackson Pollock, and other abstract expressionists.
As you walk through the gallery, you’re introduced to the world of surrealism in many different forms. Works on paper, oil on canvas, and multimedia creations are all on display.
The exhibit does a wonderful job of showing the whole spectrum of surrealist art. While some of the pictures first appear as scribbles and blobs, others are more traditional depictions of people in surreal situations. Regardless of the subject, the entire exhibit is connected by the feeling of searching for meaning in what seems potentially indecipherable. Obviously, it’s worth it to go look at the art for the amazing techniques or pure aesthetic appreciation, but this exhibit also grants you the unique opportunity to let your imagination run wild while you try to interpret, appreciate, or simply understand all these works of art. Whatever the reason for your visit, this exhibit will leave an impression on you and your imagination. Just be aware that the impression may be some vague, mixed up, jumble of colors … or a swirling vortex of pumpkins and dead relatives … or a cat. Still, an impression all the same.
Krannert Art Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m, Wednesday from 9:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m., and Sunday from 2:00–5:00 p.m. The museum is closed on Mondays. Surrealism and Its Influence runs from now until July 28. Admission is free, but a $3 donation is suggested.