Campus News

Museum of Art Exhibits "Exquisite Corpses"

Story posted April 03, 2004

Modern day interpretations of the popular Surrealist game "exquisite corpse" are featured in Exquisite Corpses Today: 25 Curiosities Commissioned by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art through June 6.

For this imaginative exhibition, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art invited 25 locally and nationally known artists to collaborate with their friends and create modern day exquisite corpse interpretations. The results are a fantastic spectrum of styles, media, inspired figures, and bizarre juxtapositions – an exhibition unlike any seen before at the Museum of Art.

The exquisite corpse, or cadaver exquis, is a combination parlor game and unpredictable collective "sequential" drawing that was a favorite Surrealist pastime for turning accident into suggestive significance. Different artists create separate sections of an entity, each folding their part of the paper to conceal it from the next player. Only at the end is the fanciful hybrid revealed.

"All the playful wit and inventiveness of the original Surrealists unfolds on these drawings which contemporary artists collaborated on without knowing what their co-conspirators had drawn," said Katy Kline, director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. "In a variety of mediums ranging from ink and watercolor to collage, these colorful sheets deploy a motley menagerie of hybrids: improbable beasts, strange humanoids, unsettling landscapes and wonderfully weird and suggestive forms."

Participating artists include many who are nationally known, such as Leon Golub, Nancy Spero, Polly Apfelbaum, Katherine Bradford, Anne Harris, Anne Wilson, and Christine Hiebert, as well as a large contingent of lively artists from the region, including Sean Foley, Alison Hildreth, Michael Shaughnessy, Rose Morasco, Mark Wethli, Joseph Haroutunian, and Meghan Scribner.

Exquisite Corpses coincides with the exhibition The Invisible Revealed: Surrealist Drawings from the Drukier Collection, one of the most comprehensive collections of Surrealist works on paper in private hands in this country, also on view through June 6.

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 Sunday 2-5 p.m. The Museum is closed Mondays and national holidays. For more information call (207) 725-3275.

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