This exhibition is not a continuation or re-working of Surrealist philosophies, manifesto pledges or ideals, even if the artists in this exhibition acknowledge and in some cases celebrate the connection. It is an exploration of those visual devices, strategies and forms first innovated by the Surrealist painters, sculptors, photographers and collagists, and which continue to exert an influence on current artistic activity.
The artists in this exhibition come to the idea of the ‘surrealist image’ through the blur of recent art-school education, appropriations of popular culture, loose conceptual understandings, hero-worship and countless critiques and re-workings. World Gone Mad explores the lasting impact of Surrealist methods on both art and popular culture, and how current art draws on a cultural landscape now already coloured by the embrace of Surrealism that marks the counter-culture of the 60’s and 70’s. Underlying these disparate motivations is a strong intuition about the still-vital conceptual, formal and aesthetic resources that Surrealism originated and promoted.
The works in this exhibition have less to do with Surrealism as a historical object, and more to do with how the surreal continues to breathe uncanny life into the art of the present, and into the differing visions of life artists create.
Curated by Bob Matthews and organised by the Herbert Read Gallery, University College of the Creative Arts, Canterbury.
The artists featured are:
Liz Arnold, Guy Bar-Amotz, Sam Basu, Varda Caivano, Jack Duplock, Neil Gall, Mark Harris, Ansel Krut, David Leapman, Bob Matthews, David Rayson, James Rielly, Adam Ross, John Stezaker, and Gary Webb
Exhibition Catalogue: Published in association with Castlefield Gallery, fully illustrated in colour, with essays by Dr. Johanna Malt of King’s College London, critic Sally O’Reilly, and a foreword by JJ Charlesworth, Herbert Read Gallery curator. Priced £6, available from tour venues, and art bookshops. Distributed by Cornerhouse Publications.
World Gone Mad will tour to Limehouse Arts Foundation, London in Summer 2006.