Dreamland: American Explorations Into Surrealism
On Exhibit In Our Vollmer Gallery, Cooper Gallery, and Warshaw Gallery
January 17, 2007 through March 25, 2007
To download the catalog for this show, click here.
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SATURDAY, JANUARY 20, 2007
FROM 5 - 7PM
7 AND 11 EAST ANAPAMU STREET, SANTA BARBARA, CA
There will, of course, be a costume contest on the night of the opening reception. The most marvelous, bizarre costume will win $250. Cash prizes will also be paid for second, third, and fourth place.
A Few Words About This Exhibit
After a while, the word “surreal” didn’t seem to mean anything at all. Many took it to mean
“weird”, but it also stood in rather marvelously on
those occasions when no other word quite seemed
to fit the situation.
The surrealists couldn’t agree on the definition
either. There were those who approached
surrealist art from a highly intellectual
position. These artists concerned themselves
with metaphysical truth and conveying
their understanding of Freud’s theory of the
unconscious. Other artists were pushing the
Dadaist assault on rationality. Still others used
the term to decribe the visionary quality of their
If the debate among artists was serious, the art
itself was more often playful. Visual and verbal
puns, absurd juxtapositions, radical changes in
scale, and soaring flights of fancy were employed
to produce wildly disparate works. In Herbert
Bayer’s imagination, hard rock could curl like
fabric, while for Man Ray, bananas connoted
planes. In Howard Warshaw’s world, a radish
could be a fish, an eyeball, or just a radish.
Even for artists who were to make their careers in
other styles, Surrealism proved important to their
development. In the wider world of American
art, the intuitive working method known as
“automatism” [painting without thinking]
led directly to the development of Abstract
The “American Dream” lies here exposed. It is
richer, wilder, more raw, and more mysterious
than I imagined.
- Jeremy Tessmer
The psychoanalytic theory that underlies much of
postmodernism is directly expressed in Surrealist
compositions. Many contemporary artists share
a fascination with the unconscious dream state,
which remains mysterious despite vast scientific
Wandering through pathways defined by Jessica
Foos Jones’ clay doves, visual surprises unfold.
David Ligare paints a classically pure white
cloth tossed high above ocean waves, seen from
a suspenseful angle. Bo Bartlett wonderfully
updates Magritte’s conceptual painting of a pipe,
while the disturbing works of Fred Stonehouse
impart questions, not answers.
With altered scale and a nightmarish, cartoon-like
Pop aesthetic, the late Roger Brown’s paintings
provide a playful punch. Scott Kahn magically
transforms his studio walls into a full moon
vista, while Irma Cavat presents her particular
Surrealist vision. Classical realism is the vehicle
for Steven Kenney’s remake of a twenty-first
century still life.
Jeff Sanders references Man Ray with his spring-
powered kinetic metronomes that invite audience
participation. The fanciful ceramic sculptures of
Rebekah Bogard depict imaginary animals that
are child-like and gender-specific. Colin Gray,
noted for his public art controversy, delivers a
dynamic suite of drawings.
The juxtaposition of dissimilar images causes us
to think differently, reminding us that much of
reality exists beyond the rational. We hope you
enjoy our presentation of contemporary artists
who continue to explore the realm of imagination.
- Nancy Caponi
Matthew Barnes | Bo Bartlett | Herbert Bayer | Eugene Berman | Rebekah Bogard |
Ken Bortolazzo | Roger Brown | Irma Cavat | Francis Criss | Carroll Dunham | Max Ernst |
Edgar Ewing | Gunther Gerzso | Colin Gray | Richard Haines | David Hidalgo |
Jessica Foos Jones | Scott Kahn | Leon Kelly | Steven Kenny | Betty Lane | Dan Levin |
David Ligare | Alan Linder | Helen Lundeberg | Larry McAdams | Rene Magreitte | Jay Mercado |
Carlos Merrida | Ben Messick | Hank Pitcher | Man Ray | Frederick Remahl | Jeff Sanders |
Michael Sokolis | Miriam Slater | Jack R. Smith | Gar Sparks | Fred Stonehouse |
Howard Warshaw | Pali X-Mano