Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

"Surrealismus in Paris" at Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Basel

by Suzanne on November 19th, 2011

La poupée by Hans Bellmer, painted wood, papier-mâché, mixed media, 1935/36, 61×170×51 cm, courtesy Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, photo © Collection Centre Pompidou/Vertrieb RMN/Georges Meguerditchian/ProLitteris - click to enlarge

I dislike the way big art metropoleis *cough* London *cough* always label their sell-out shows *cough* Leonardo da Vinci *cough* as "Shows of the Century" when - IF you can afford the outrageous admission prices at all - these shows are normally so totally overrun you really can't appreciate the art or are even given a specific time slot and need to get the hell out after 30 minutes. Trust me, I know. I actually went to the last "big da Vinci thing" in London a couple of years back but I can't even recall whether it was at the V&A, the Royal Academy or the British Museum. All I remember is that I COULDN'T SEE SHIT and people had the NERVE to bring their Dan Browns along. Jesus Christ.

Anyways, so thankfully, there's always the smaller, quieter places that put on masterpieces of curating in the middle of nowhere - pretty much overlooked by the international media.

Well, one such tremendous art historical chef-d'oeuvre of a show is currently taking place at the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen near Basel.

It's devoted to Surrealism in Paris and features some of the most outstanding works of the one art movement that will never ever die.

Amongst the usual suspects that I won't even bother mentioning here because the Beyeler is pretty notorious for its huge collection of surrealist art, you will meet the conjoined limbs of Hans Bellmer, the giant eyes of Paul Delvaux, the apocalyptic dreamscapes of Max Ernst and the sculptural synaesthesia of Méret Oppenheim.

Yes, I know right?! o_O

The exhibition looks also very stunning from an interior design point of view and a lot of effort, time.. and obviously money.. has been spent to contextualise and document the pieces. Definitely one to check out if you're in Switzerland.

Surrealismus in Paris runs until the end of January 2012. Details below.

Der Gegenpapst by Max Ernst, oil on canvas, 1941/42, 161x127 cm, courtesy Peggy Guggenheim Collection, photo © David Heald/The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation/ProLitteris - click to enlarge

On show: Oct 2, 2011 - Jan 29, 2012

Address: Fondation Beyeler, Baselstrasse 101, CH-4125 Riehen, Basel, Switzerland, tel: +41 - (0)61 - 645 97 00, email: info@fondationbeyeler.ch | Map

Hours: Mon - Sun: 10 AM - 6 PM

Admission: CHF 25.– (but special deals with public transport!)

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Max Ernst Retrospective at Albertina in Vienna

by Suzanne on February 20th, 2008

Two scenes from Une semaine de bonté by Max Ernst, 1933

Max Ernst - anachronistic collagist genius who inspired talented modern artists like Colette Calascione or Claudia Drake - is the focus of a retrospective that opened today in Vienna - city of my eeriest dreams and sweetest nightmares. Oh, how I miss thee!

Until April 27, 2008, the venerable Albertina - in close cooperation with the Max Ernst Museum in Brühl/DE - will show the original illustrations of Max Ernst's wondrous book Une semaine de bonté.

This is the first time in almost 75 years that these hauntingly beautiful works are presented to the public.

ART Magazine feature

Get Ernst's Une Semaine De Bonté: A Surrealistic Novel in Collage published by Dover. It's a classic. I swear you won't regret it.

4 Random Things That I Find Strangely Hot Today

Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab in Moby Dick

i) Daniel Day-Lewis' legs/leather boots in There Will Be Blood.

ii) Gregory Peck's scar and bleached hair in Moby Dick. In fact, I don't think any male actor has ever looked hotter than Peck in the role of Ahab.

iii) Chester Bennington's front teeth. But that's really it.

iv) Robert Smith's voice in Lovesong.