Drawing Surrealism explores surrealist innovations by more than 90 artists, most of them working in the early 20th century. But curator Leslie Jones also included commissioned work by Los Angeles artists working today in order to emphasize the connection between the history of surrealism and contemporary practice.
Mark Licari’s giant improvisational mural on the title wall greets visitors to the exhibition. Alexandra Grant created an illustrated print derived from a poetic novel, Songs of Maldoror, that visitors can take away with them. Stas Orlovski activates a transitional space in the exhibition with a projected animation that draws on dreams and the unconscious. Although it’s easy to see the connection between these projects and earlier surrealist work, as Mark notes in the video below, that doesn’t mean that he deliberately set out to “learn” surrealist techniques. Instead, the surrealists pioneered practices so fundamental to the art of drawing that an emerging artist might just stumble across similar ways of working in the course of their own explorations.
Amy Heibel, video by Alexa Oona Schulz