Charlotte, North Carolina.- The Mint Museum is proud to present “Surrealism & Beyond” on view at the museum through May 13th. The Mint Museum is once again breaking new ground by bringing together three exhibitions comprising the largest and most significant examination of Surrealism and Surrealist-inspired art ever presented in the Southeast. Organized by The Mint Museum and overseen by Jonathan Stuhlman, the Mint’s curator of American art, the project consists of three fascinating shows examining the work of four artists: “Double Solitaire: The Surreal Worlds of Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy”; “Seeing the World Within: Charles Seliger in the 1940s”; and “Gordon Onslow Ford: Voyager and Visionary”.
“Double Solitaire” explores the exchange of ideas that informed the work of the important Surrealist artists Kay Sage (American, 1898-1963) and Yves Tanguy (French/American, 1900-1955) during their 15-year relationship. It is the first exhibition to examine Sage and Tanguy’s work from this perspective, the first significant exhibition of Tanguy’s art organized by an American museum since 1955, and the first major gathering of Sage’s paintings since 1977. By intermingling Sage and Tanguy’s paintings, this exhibition of approximately 50 works of art tells the fascinating story of the couple’s complex personal and artistic relationship and, more importantly, elucidates the commonalities and ties between each artists’ work, which historically has been kept separate. Visitors will see firsthand the impact each artist had upon the other as they explored and developed their own unique visual languages. While many of the paintings in the exhibition are drawn from prominent public collections, a number of privately-held works will also be included—some of which have never before been exhibited, and some of which the artists dedicated to each other.
“Seeing the World Within: Charles Seliger in the 1940s” focuses on the remarkable paintings and drawings created by the American artist Charles Seliger during the first decade of his career. Born in 1926, Seliger quickly acquired a strong working knowledge of early 20th century modernism. But it was the fantastic imagery, inventive processes, and creative freedom of Surrealism that truly captured his attention and inspired him to develop his own mature aesthetic between 1942 and 1950. Although his work was rooted in the same basic principles and ideas as that of the Abstract Expressionists, many of whom he exhibited alongside in the 1940s, Seliger found a distinctly personal voice and artistic vocabulary. Because of this, he was given his first solo exhibition at Peggy Guggenheim’s “Art of this Century” gallery in 1945, when he was just 19. By the end of the decade, Seliger had narrowed his focus and further honed his style, resulting in an approach that defined his work until his death in 2009. Seeing the World Within is the first exhibition to focus on the groundbreaking paintings Seliger created during the first decade of his career, and the first museum-organized exhibition of Seliger’s work in 30 years. It brings together approximately 35 of his best works from the 1940s, drawn from public and private collections as well as his estate.
“Gordon Onslow Ford: Voyager and Visionary” is the first retrospective of the British-American Surrealist painter’s work organized by an American museum in more than 30 years. Featuring approximately 30 paintings by the artist, it is drawn entirely from his family’s collection. Many of the objects in the exhibition were either created specifically for Onslow Ford’s sister, Elisabeth, or were given to her for such special occasions as her birthdays. Because of the closeness and longevity of their relationship, the exhibition will offer visitors a look at the full range of Onslow Ford’s career – from early, more traditional canvases from the 1920s and 1930s, to his first experiments with Surrealism in the late 1930s and 1940s, to his later work from the 1950s forward, which took a more cosmic, symbolic approach to abstraction. It is a particularly apt companion for the Sage and Tanguy and Seliger exhibitions, as it reveals another dimension of Surrealism and its impact, and features an artist who knew and worked alongside Sage and Tanguy in the 1930s and 1940s and who wrote a book on Tanguy’s artistic process in 1980. Gordon Onslow Ford: Voyager and Visionary is accompanied by a selection of ephemera and works by family-member artists who were inspirational to Onslow Ford early in his career.
aThe Mint Museum in Charolotte, North Carolina is housed in two separate buildings. The Mint Museum Uptown houses the internationally-renowned Mint Museum of Craft + Design, as well as outstanding collections of American, contemporary, and European art. Designed by Machado and Silvetti Associates of Boston, the five-story, 145,000-square-foot facility combines inspiring architecture with groundbreaking exhibitions to provide visitors with unparalleled educational and cultural experiences. Located in the heart of Charlotte’s burgeoning uptown, the Mint Museum Uptown is an integral part of the Levine Center for the Arts, a cultural campus that includes the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, the Knight Theater, and the Duke Energy Center, and features a range of visitor amenities, including a 240-seat Auditorium, Family Gallery, studios, Café, and Museum Shop. Housed in what was the original branch of the United States Mint, the Mint Museum Randolph opened in 1936 in Charlotte’s historic Eastover neighborhood as the first art museum in North Carolina. Today the Mint features collections that span more than 4,500 years of human creativity from all over the world. Intimate galleries invite visitors to engage with the art of the ancient Americas, ceramics and decorative arts, historic costume and fashionable dress, and European, African, and Asian art, among other collections. Resources include a reference library with over 15,000 volumes, a theater featuring lectures and performances, and a Museum Shop offering merchandise that complements both the permanent collection and special exhibitions. Visit the museum’s website at … http://www.mintmuseum.org