Art After Dark:
Thursday, October 26, 2017
8:00PM - 10:30PM
Join us this month for a Surrealist Masquerade. The BMoA sculpture garden will be transformed, taking inspiration from the Surrealist undertones of the current BMoA exhibitions and the iconic 1972 Rothschild Surrealist Party. Come in a costume or mask inspired by the Surrealist theme.
The now iconic Rothschild party of 1972, which occurred just outside of Paris, was hosted by the eccentric socialite Marie-Helene de Rothschild and brought the Surrealist Manifesto to life. The exclusive guest list included Salvador Dali who was quite impressed with the Rothschild’s devotion to the theme. Not a detail went unnoticed. Guests received invitations which were printed in mirror image and were instructed to come dressed in “Black ties, long dresses, and surrealist heads.” Upon arrival, the chateau was flooded with amber light to create the illusion that the building was on fire. Once inside, servants greeted the guests dressed as felines. The cats were posed in various sleeping positions and would slowly stretch and rise as each new guest entered. The night was full of surprises. And the few photos that document the evening highlight the extravagance, whimsy and imagination that Surrealism encourages.
Surrealist artists sought to channel the unconscious as a means to unlock the power of the imagination, believing the rational mind repressed the power of the imagination, weighing it down with taboos. The Surrealist impulse to tap the unconscious mind, and their interests in myth, nature and primitivism, went on to shape many later movements, and the style remains influential to this day.
BMoA’s current exhibitions display aspects of surrealism and the more acutely defined Naturalistic Surrealism. Astrid Preston uses the device of placing a window within a window, where the viewer is not sure which window actually represents reality. Or, the insertion of a fireplace in the midst of an otherwise dark and sinister forest. Similarly, Gwynn Murrill’s sculpture depict the elegant shapes mother nature has created; seemingly, these creatures could come to life at the blink of an eye, but the firmly grounded Koa wood they were sculpted of dissolves this possibility from reality. Both artists have mastered juxtaposing the unexpected and combine natural elements that are disassociated but identifiable.
Photos: © Jack Nisberg/Roger-Viollet/The Image Works
Art After Dark
Join us on the last Thursday of the month from February through October for an after-hours art experience featuring fine art, entertainment, and drinks at Kern County’s only accredited art museum.
Art After Dark is a program supported by Moneywise.
Above Image: Astrid Preston, Fireplace, 1991, 14 x 11 inches. From the Collection of the Artist.