Surrealism and Its Legacy with Dr. Jennie Hirsh

Surrealism and Its Legacy with Dr. Jennie Hirsh


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Surrealism was a cultural movement, aimed at revolutionizing human experience and rejecting the rational vision of life in favor of activating the unconscious mind through dream-like imagery. This seminar will explore this multi-media movement that emerged in Europe following World War I, as well as its legacy.

By considering the work of its key protagonists, this seminar outlines the main inspiration for, stylistic strategies of, and best examples of Surrealist art. Specifically, we will look at writers, including Guillaume Apollinaire (who coined the term) and André Breton (who penned the manifestoes), and visual artists, such as Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Frida Kahlo, René Magritte, Méret Oppenheim, Man Ray, and Yves Tanguy, as well as filmmakers Luis Buñuel and Jean Cocteau.

We will also look at the ways in which Italian artist Giorgio de Chirico served as a father figure for this movement through his early work of the 1920s but ended up being rejected by most of the movement for his more realistic work in the 1920s. Finally, in the last section of the seminar, we will explore contemporary artists who have embraced Surrealism's style and theories in their own practice in innovative and creative ways.

Led by an expert on modern and contemporary art, this interactive seminar will provide both an introduction to Surrealism and some of its most important exhibitions. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appreciation for the subtle differences between practitioners of this movement as well as the lasting legacy of one of the most important early twentieth-century European art movements.

Jennie Hirsh (PhD, Bryn Mawr College) is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. She has held postdoctoral fellowships at Princeton and Columbia Universities, as well as pre-doctoral fellowships from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, the U.S. Fulbright commission, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the Wolfsonian FIU. Hirsh has authored essays on artists including Giorgio de Chirico, Giorgio Morandi, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Yinka Shonibare, and Regina Silveira, and is co-editor, with Isabelle Wallace, of Contemporary Art and Classical Myth (Ashgate 2011).

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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