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We are Completely Free. Women Artists and Surrealism

10 Oct. 2017 28 Jan. 2018

Of all the avant-garde movements, Surrealism attracted the most women to it ranks, as it was both novel and provocative and supported an image of women as spontaneous and intuitive beings who were in control of their private lives and who, as citizens, demanded the right to work and vote as well as to enjoy their own bodies. It was art that attached importance to personal realities and which enabled eroticism and poetic emotion to be combined as a means of expression, promoting duality and ambiguity in response to the dictates of reason.

However, it was not long before women removed themselves from an art movement that they found disappointing because, usually, it saw them primarily as muses, little girls, or clairvoyants. The process of breaking free was a painful and dramatic one, and at times involved tragic endings which, paradoxically, helped them to gain their creative independence and overcome the theoretical and ideological yoke that the intellectual leaders of the movement wished to impose upon them.

They were misunderstood fighters and rebels and, in some cases, were perversely eclipsed or used by their male partners. But their lives and their art not only defied social and institutional conventions to represent an “alterity” that would be permitted by others, but above all firmly criticized the repressive impact of imposing gender-based rules. With these women’s artworks, We are Completey Free. Women Artists and Surrealism shows how such new patterns of sensitivity and their role as a contrast to patriarchal society first emerged.

Curated by José Jiménez, professor of aesthetics and art theory at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid,  the exhibition reinstates in the role that they deserve a group of women artists whose work stood out on the Surrealist art scene and which has had to wait too long to gain major recognition: Eileen Agar, Claude Cahun, Leonora Carrington, Germaine Dulac, Leonor Fini, Valentine Hugo, Frida Kahlo, Dora Maar, Maruja Mallo, Lee Miller, Nadja, Meret Oppenheim, Kay Sage, Ángeles Santos, Dorothea Tanning, Toyen, Remedios Varo and Unica Zürn. Their individualism and personality can be strongly felt in the more than 100 works on display and which include paintings, drawings, sculpture, collage, photography and film, all brought together for this event.

After Sophie Tauber-Arp. Avant-garde Pathways (October 2009 - January 2010), Hilma af Klint. Pioneer of Abstract (October 2013 - February 2014) and Louise Bourgeois. I have been to Hell and back (June - September 2015), Museo Picasso Málaga has once again produced an exhibition that highlights art by the women of 20th-century art. As always, there will be an accompanying catalogue and a programme of cultural activities related to the main artistic and historical aspects of the exhibition.

The opening of the exhibition will take place on Monday 9th October 2017.



Spring-Summer 2017

Bacon, Freud and the School of London

Until 17 Sept. 2017