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Exhibition Archives

REAL/SURREAL
SELECTIONS FROM THE WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

February 13 | May 19, 2013

Drawn entirely from the deep holdings of the Whitney’s collection, Real/Surreal: Selections from the Whitney Museum of American Art focuses on the tension and overlap between two strong currents in 20th-century art: realism and Surrealism. Real/Surreal features paintings, drawings, photographs, and prints that elucidate how artists—depending on intention and influence—developed degrees of reality in which imagination held more or less sway. Among the notable artists included in the exhibition are Charles Burchfield, Paul Cadmus, Joseph Cornell, Philip Guston, Edward Hopper, Man Ray, Ben Shahn, Charles Sheeler, Yves Tanguy, George Tooker, and Andrew Wyeth. While a basic connection to the observable world underlies realist works, the term realism has many facets. Subverting reality through imagination and the unconscious rests at the heart of Surrealism. Yet convergences in these different, even oppositional, approaches encourage new ways of looking at art of the 1920s, ‘30s, and ‘40s in America. The exhibition . Real/Surreal offers visitors the opportunity to view additional works by artists represented in the McNay’s collection, which includes singular examples from this period by the same artists in the Whitney’s collection.

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This exhibition was organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

The Henry Luce Foundation, Inc. and Carolyn and Allan Paterson are generously providing lead sponsorship.

As of December 3, 2012, additional sponsors are the G. A. C. Halff Foundation, the Nathalie and Gladys Dalkowitz Charitable Trust, Janet and Jim Dicke, Mary Beth and Jack Williamson (a gift of the James Family Charitable Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation), the Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation, Martha Landsman, Barbara and Stanley Spigel, Jo Ann Wigodsky, the Director’s Circle, and the Host Committee.

Image: Jared French, State Park, 1946. Egg tempera on composition board. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Donnelley Erdman 65.78.
 
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