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McNay Art Museum opens Real/Surreal selections from The Whitney Museum

Submitted by on February 13, 2013 – 8:40 am

McNay Art Museum presents Real/Surreal selections from The Whitney Museum, an exhibition on view February 13 – May 19, 2013, focusing on the tension and overlap between two strong currents in 20th-century art: realism and Surrealism.


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.

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. www.mcnayart.org

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