Women in the Surrealist Movement

The old black-and-white group portraits of Surrealists captured around the world typically share one common detail: They're dominated by men. Man Ray's photographs alone capture a cast so widely known we need only refer to the sitters by last name: Bréton, de Chirico, Dalí, Ernst, and Eluard, to name a few. For too long artists such as Leonora Carrington, Leonor Fini, Kay Sage, Remedios Varo, and Dorothea Tanning have stood on the sidelines of history while their male counterparts received praise for countless representations of female bodies as idealized, erotic objects. In this hour-long class, artist and archivist J.R. Pepper will shine a spotlight on some of these female Surrealists and examine their own complex, enigmatic artworks, which likewise drip with desire and explore the realms of alchemy and magic. The role of women in the Surrealist movement has become widely recognized only in recent years thanks to a number of major exhibitions worldwide. Pepper's lecture, though, is certain to take a unique approach. An expert in Victorian spirit photography, she also creates photographs seemingly haunted by ghosts — so she has plenty of firsthand experience in realizing dreamlike worlds tinged with darkness.


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