Campus News

Museum to Exhibit Surrealist Drawings from the Drukier Collection

Story posted March 26, 2004

The Drukier Collection, one of the most comprehensive collections of Surrealist works on paper in private hands in this country, will be on view at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art beginning April 2. The exhibition, The Invisible Revealed: Surrealist Drawings from the Drukier Collection, will run through June 6.

This collection of drawings explores the extravagantly creative experimentation of the Surrealist movement from its inception in the late 1910s to its slow demise after World War II. The more than 100 drawings – with key works by artists such as Magritte, Dalí, Tanguy, Breton, Brauner, Matta, and de Chirico – emphasize the spontaneity of touch and access to the psyche that Surrealism sought.

Intimate in scale, these disarming drawings transmit violent emotions, fantasies, and fears with colorful wit and innuendo.

"We are delighted to bring a dose of Surrealism to Maine," said Katy Kline, director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. "Opening April Fools' Day, the exhibition will provide many surprises. The drawings are lively, irreverent, suggestive, occasionally unsettling, and often both bizarre and beautiful. Their strange and sometimes anxious undertones may resonate particularly today."

Influenced by the psychoanalytical writings of Freud, the Surrealists aimed to tap into their subconscious minds, which they believed to be the source of all imagination and creativity. Concerned with the rapid recording of their unconscious and freely associated thoughts, the putting of pencil, pen, and crayon to paper was incredibly appealing and they produced a prodigious output of drawings. Thus the immediacy of drawing was often more attractive than the comparatively slower act of painting.

Charles Stuckey, a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, writes in the accompanying catalogue essay, "With its many key examples, the Drukier collection of works on paper provides an extraordinary and comprehensive account of what makes Surrealist art modern: its polyglot encyclopedic scope, its irrepressible diversity of means and ends, and its cult for experimentation of every kind."

An opening lecture for The Invisible Revealed: Surrealist Drawings from the Drukier Collection will be held at Bowdoin College's Kresge Auditorium in the Visual Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 1. Titled "The Great Surrealist Adventure," the lecture will be given by Timothy Baum, a New York-based poet, collector, and private art dealer. Baum is recognized internationally for his work in Dada and Surrealism, and has long served as an advisor to the Drukier Collection.

An exhibition preview and reception in the Museum will follow the lecture from 8-10 p.m.

A full-color catalogue with three essays and illustrations is available for purchase in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art Gift Shop.

The exhibition and catalogue were organized by the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University. At Bowdoin College the exhibition and programs are supported by the Stevens L. Frost Endowment Fund and the George Otis Hamlin Fund.

Also on view during the same period will be a number of "Exquisite Corpse" drawings by contemporary artists, mostly Maine-based, especially commissioned for this occasion by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. This favorite Surrealist pastime involved a "sequential" drawing by different artists unaware of each others' contribution to create an unpredictable, often fanciful hybrid.

The programs and exhibitions of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art are open to the public free of charge. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays 2-5 p.m. The Museum is closed Mondays and national holidays.

For more information call (207) 725-3275.

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