Art historian and independent curator Nina Folkersma curated The Tears of Eros -
Moesman, Surrealism and the Sexes exhibit at the Centraal Museum in Utrecht. The critically acclaimed exhibition opened on February 14 and was closed abruptly shortly thereafter due to the Corona virus. Fortunately for us, The Tears of Eros is likely to be extended until August 16, 2020, because you don't want to miss this exciting exhibition.
Statements like those by the surrealist artist J.H. Moesman (1909 -1988): “I never treat animals cruelly, but I wouldn’t mind torturing a beautiful woman who likes to be tortured”, are of course grist to – though not exclusively – the mill of every feminist. The Centraal Museum website states: "The surrealists revolted against the prudish morality of their time and the traditional male-female relationships. At the same time they weren’t bothered by the unequal position of women within their own movement. In their art works, women were depicted as a sex object or treated as a fetish." Moesman was apparently not alone. Looking to reveal the unknown side of Surrealism’s history, Nina wondered which female artists were part of this movement and how they dealt with subjects such as lust and sex, power and oppression.
"To my great sorrow, the exhibition is now closed due to the measures surrounding the corona virus. In the four weeks that it has been open, we received very positive reactions from the public. Not only because of the stunning exhibition design (by designer Afaina de Jong), but also because we adjust the existing image of Surrealism. For example, we show that many female artists were active within the movement, such as Leonora Carrington, Dorothea Tanning, Leonor Fini and Claude Cahun.
These female surrealists are currently in the spotlight. We also show how topical the Surrealists are today. They were very free-spirited figures who experimented to their heart's content with eroticism, sexuality and gender. Their influence is reflected in the work of contemporary artists such as Viviane Sassen, Sarah Lucas and Gillian Wearing. I miss giving guided tours of the exhibition and sharing my enthusiasm about the beautiful works we have brought together. I happily accept GalleryViewer's invitation to compile a collection of works of art that you could call contemporary surrealism. It is with great pleasure that I once again dive into the world of the unconscious fears and desires, the fetish and the cadavre exquis.