The Art Institute of Chicago opens Claude Cahun’s Surrealist Photographs

artwork: Claude Cahun - "Confessions void, Plate I" (left) and "Confessions void, Plate 3" (right) , 1929-1930 Gelatin silver print (photomontage) - Each 40 x 25 cm. Private collection. On view at the Art Institute of Chicago in "Entre Nous: The Art of Claude Cahun" Feb. 25th until Jun. 3rd.


Chicago, Illinois.- The Art Institute of Chicago is proud to present “Entre Nous: The Art of Claude Cahun”, on view at the museum from February 25th through June 3rd. Born Lucy Schwob to a family of French intellectuals and writers, Claude Cahun (who adopted the pseudonym at age 22) is best known for the staged self-portraiture, photomontages, and prose texts she made principally between 1920 and 1940. Rediscovered in the late 1980s, her work has not only expanded our understanding of the Surrealist era but also serves as an important touchstone to later feminist explorations of gender and identity politics. In her self-portraits, which she began creating around 1913, Cahun dismantled and questioned pre-existing notions of self and sexuality. Posing in costumes and elaborate make-up, Cahun appears masked as various personae: man or woman, hero or doll, both powerful and vulnerable. Almost a century after their making, these innovative photographs and assemblages remain remarkably relevant in their treatment of gender, performance, and identity.