Centraal Museum Utrecht presents 'The Tears of Eros: Moesman, Surrealism and the Sexes'
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Centraal Museum Utrecht presents 'The Tears of Eros: Moesman, Surrealism and the Sexes'
Man Ray, Portrait de Rrose Sélavy, 1921.

UTRECHT.- Johannes Moesman (1909–1988) is the only Dutch artist to be formally ranked among the surrealists. Moesman depicted his fantasies at a time when sexual nonconformity was very much a taboo subject, especially in the Netherlands. The surrealists were eager to address themes of sex as a way of escaping from the suffocating conservativism of their time. Almost 100 years after the birth of surrealism, we still contend with complex social issues centered around shifting power relations between men, women, and other, such as the #MeToo movement, gender nonconformity, and reproductive rights. How did the surrealists depict their views on the masculine and the feminine? And what is our reaction today to their representations of sexuality and gender?

The Tears of Eros contextualizes Moesman's oeuvre with that of his famous international peers, including Salvador Dalí, René Magritte and Max Ernst. Furthermore, and for the first time in the Netherlands, female surrealists such as Claude Cahun, Leonora Carrington and Leonor Fini feature prominently. The Tears of Eros presents art works by contemporary artists including Sarah Lucas, Gillian Wearing, Paul Kooiker and Viviane Sassen, reinforcing surrealism's continuity into our time.

Annex: Jon Rafman
For The Tears of Eros, Canadian artist Jon Rafman (1981) was invited to add a new chapter to his Dream Journal (2016–19). In this ongoing video project, Rafman uses his own dreams and the surrealist technique of “écriture automatique”: automatic writing. This method was used by the surrealists to make art from the subconcious: “automatically” and without thinking. Rafman applies this technique by making notes of his dreams on a daily basis. He shares them with an anonymous video animator, who converts them into moving images with the help of inexpensive CGI techniques.

When Rafman visited the Centraal Museum last year, he was immediately impressed by the surrealist paintings of Joop Moesman and decided to take Moesman’s work as the starting point for the new chapter of his Dream Journal. The result is a fragmented, delirious story in which memories, sexual fantasies and associations from the unconscious come together.

This presentation is part of The Annex, a programme in the last gallery of the main exhibition halls. The Annex provides a special space for contemporary art that offers a surprising view of the themes raised in the exhibition.

Featured artists The Tears of Eros
Anna Aagaard Jensen, Rachel Baes, Hans Bellmer, Janneke Berendsen, Jacques-André Boiffard, Victor Brauner, Gerard Byrne, Claude Cahun, Leonora Carrington, Dinos & Jake Chapman, Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Óscar Domínguez, Max Ernst, Leonor Fini, Julio Gonzalez, Jane Graverol, Anthony Everhardus Grolman, Jacoba Haas, Willem van den Heuvel, Claas Hille, Jozef Hoevenaar, Sanam Khatibi, Jan van Kleef, Jeroen Kooijmans, Paul Kooiker, Felix Labisse, Willem van Leusden, Sarah Lucas, René Magritte, Roberto Matta, Lee Miller, Emiel Van Moerkerken, Johannes Anthonius Moesman, Johannes Hendrikus Moesman, Pierre Molinier, Gerrit van ’t Net, Meret Oppenheim, Man Ray, Anthon Gerard Alexander Ripper van Rappard, Wilhelm Ritterbach, Marquis de Sade, Kay Sage, Viviane Sassen, William Seabrook, Cindy Sherman, Pieter Stortenbeker, Jindrich Štyrský, Dorothea Tanning, Toyen, Clovis Trouille, Raoul Ubac, Willem Wagenaar, Gillian Wearing, Louis Wijmans, Unica Zürn.

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