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Comments (1) Posted 05.19.13 | PERMALINK | PRINT

John Foster

A Nod to Surrealism


In the image-driven web world most of us frequent today—Tumblr, Flickr, and Pinterest, for example — we are bombarded with images that beg us to look twice. It’s relatively easy to create a yellow zebra with blue stripes, if that’s what suits your fancy. Masterful digital imaging can bring us whatever level of Surrealism you may desire — if you can imagine it, it can be done with pixel manipulation.

For artists not working in digital media — those who cut, build, draw, paint, glue, bend, and make things in the more traditional manner — there is something of a “Surrealist” popularity at hand today. Though most of these artists would probably not think of themselves as “Surrealists” (in the pure context of the definition)—the idea of recontextualization is something they obviously enjoy.

Beginning with three early 20th century pieces of this genre, works by Meret Oppenheim, Man Ray and Salvadore Dali, I have gathered work by a number of contemporary artists working today in a manner that might make the original Surrealist masters smile.


A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Meret Oppenheim (Swiss, 1913–1985), Paris 1936
Fur-covered cup, saucer, and spoon;
Cup 4 3/8" (10.9 cm) in diameter; saucer 9 3/8" (23.7 cm) in diameter; spoon 8" (20.2 cm) long, overall height 2 7/8" (7.3 cm)


A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Man Ray, Cadeau, iron and nails, 1921, edited replica 1972, Tate Modern

A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Salvadore Dali, Lobster Telephone; 1936. © Tate
Plastic, painted plaster and mixed media; 178 x 330 x 178 mm


A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Vincent Olinet; Title: After the Waves, synthetic hairs, broomsticks, photo Marc Geneix; In collaboration with Sookoon Ang.

A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Michelle Lopez, Brooklyn, NY; Title: Boy; leather covered Honda 600, 1999.

A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Howard Jones, St. Louis, MO; Title: Thorn Brush, 2011.

A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Brock Davis, Broccoli House

A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Suzy Lelievre, 2011, Acier thermolaqué. Dimensions variables. Vue à la Fondation Bullukian, Lyon.

A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Suzy Lelievre, 2011, Hêtre massif, 2 tables, chacune 68 x 74 x 74 cm.

A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Suzy Lelievre, 2012, Table d’appoint en bois laqué, Édition limitée

A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Suzy Lelievre, 2004, Pâte alimentaire déshydratée.

A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Yoab Capote, Erección, 2002, wood, 52 x 210 x 105 cms

A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Yoan Capote, Nostalgia, 2004; Suitcase, bricks and cement, 85 x 54 x 35 cms

A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Alice Jung, Seoul. Glass Hammer; form of hammer cast in glass.

A Nod to Surrelaism
Erwina Ziomkowska, Untitled (heels), 2011

A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Brad Downey, Hamburg

A Nod to Surrelaism
Artists: Mark Reigelman, Jenny Chapman’s, Manifest Destiny

A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Jack Maxwell, Limited edition tent

A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Magnus Gjoen, ceramic

A Nod to Surrelaism
Artist: Alana Noritake, Brain Hat (knitting pattern)
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ah, refreshing! ideas, not just technique.
NM design
05.21.13 at 02:20



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John Foster and his wife, Teenuh, have been longtime collectors of self-taught art and vernacular photography. Their collection of anonymous, found snapshots has toured the country for five years and has been featured in Harper’s, Newsweek Online and others.
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