Goddess, she-devil, doll, fetish, nymphet, or wonderful dream creature—women were the central subject matter of Surrealist male fantasies. It was often only in the role of companion or model that female artists could succeed in penetrating the circle surrounding André Breton, the founder of the group of Surrealists. However, on closer examination it becomes evident that the participation of women artists in the movement was considerably larger than is generally known or reported.
The SCHIRN is now presenting the female contribution to Surrealism for the first time in a major thematic exhibition. Female artists differed from their male colleagues above all in their reversal of perspective: They often embarked on a search for a (new) model of female identity by exploring their own reflection or by adopting different roles. Contemporary political events, literature, and non-European myths and religions are further subjects that the Surrealist women examine in their works. With some 260 impressive paintings, works on paper, sculptures, photographs, and films by 35 international artists, the exhibition reflects a diverse spectrum in terms of both style and content.
Besides famous female artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Frida Kahlo or Meret Oppenheim, visitors will be able to discover countless unknown but exciting artistic positions from over three decades of Surrealist art, such as Alice Rahon or Kay Sage.