White Cube Bermondsey – Dreamers Awake

Bermondsey | Exhibition | White Cube

Dreamers Awake 28 June – 17 September 2017 Bermondsey

White Cube presents Dreamers Awake

White Cube is pleased to present ‘Dreamers Awake’, a group show at White Cube Bermondsey which explores the enduring influence of Surrealism through the work of more than fifty women artists. The exhibition brings together sculpture, painting, collage, photography and drawing from the 1930s to the present day and includes work by well-known Surrealist figures as well as contemporary and emerging artists.

Woman has a powerful presence in Surrealism. She is the object of masculine desire and fantasy; a harpy, goddess or sphinx; a mystery or threat. Often, she appears decapitated, distorted, trussed up. Fearsome or fetishized, she is always the ‘other’. From today’s perspective, gender politics can seem the unlikely blind spot of a movement that declared war on patriarchal society, convention and conformity.

Nonetheless, from its earliest days female artists have been drawn to Surrealism’s emphasis on personal and artistic freedoms and to the creative potential that the exploration of the unconscious offered. By focusing on the work of women artists, ‘Dreamers Awake’ hopes to show how, through art foregrounding bodily experience, the symbolic woman of Surrealism is refigured as a creative, sentient, thinking being.

Repossessed by its owner, the fragmented, headless body of Surrealism becomes a vehicle for irony, resistance, humour and self-expression. Ranging beyond those who might identify themselves as Surrealists, the show traces the influence of the movement where artists delve into the unconscious; create alternative realities; invent fetishistic objects, such as Mona Hatoum’s Jardin Public (1993), that subvert the objectification of the female form, or, in the spirit of Claude Cahun’s iconic black and white self-portraits from the 1930s, play with gender identity as a fluid construct.





The exhibition features works by women associated with the Surrealist movement – including Eileen Agar, Leonora Carrington, Lee Miller, Dorothea Tanning and Leonor Fini – who until recently, were often characterised simply as muses, models or mistresses. Works by Francesca Woodman, Hannah Wilke, Louise Bourgeois, Rosemarie Trockel, Kiki Smith, Paloma Varga Weisz, Mona Hatoum, Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas, among others, testify to the far-reaching influence of Surrealism through the intervening decades. Surrealism meets punk in the work of Linder, and infuses the separate cultural heritages of Iraqi artist Hayv Kahraman and Japanese painter Tomoko Kashiki.

Today, one hundred years since Apollinaire coined the term ‘surrealisme’, the unconscious mind is familiar territory, and the word ‘surreal’ itself debased to the point of meaninglessness. But in a world preoccupied with the politics of identity, in which the advances of previous generations must be continually defended, we see the continued – even renewed – relevance of surrealist ideas and strategies to a generation of emerging artists, including Sascha Braunig, Jordan Kasey, Loie Hollowell, Kelly Akashi, and Caitlin Keogh.

A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by art historian Dr Alyce Mahon and exhibition curator Susanna Greeves, is published on the occasion of the exhibition.

Dreamers Awake
28 June – 17 September 2017
Curated by Susanna Greeves

White Cube Bermondsey
144 – 152 Bermondsey Street London SE1 3TQ
Opening times
Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 6pm | Sunday 12pm – 6pm





White CubeWhite Cube Bermondsey

White Cube Bermondsey opened in October 2011 and is the largest of all the gallery’s sites, incorporating more than 5440m² (58,000 sq ft) of interior space. The building, which dates from the 1970s, was renovated and designed by London and Berlin-based architects Casper Mueller Kneer and includes three major exhibition spaces as well as private viewing rooms, office space, a warehouse, an auditorium and a bookshop. The ‘South Galleries’ provide the principal display area for White Cube’s expanding programme of exhibitions and three smaller galleries, known collectively as the ‘North Galleries’, are used for an innovative series of shows. In addition, at the centre of the building, a top-lit, 81m² gallery entitled ‘9 x 9 x 9’, is used for special projects or for the display of a single artwork or installation. Since its inception, the building has hosted a variety of important exhibitions such as the first UK showing of work by American artist Theaster Gates, a comprehensive retrospective of prints by Chuck Close and the largest presentation of Anselm Kiefer work’s ever staged in London. To accompany these exhibitions, an education programme and an ongoing series of artists films, feature films and lectures takes place in the purpose-built 60 seat auditorium.

 

  www.whitecube.com  @_WhiteCube  whitecubegalleries

 

 

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