A Surrealist Summer will be celebrated at the Art Gallery of Ontario this summer. Two exhibitions of Surrealist art - Dreaming with Open Eyes and André Masson inside/outside Surrealism - plus an installation from the AGO’s permanent collection of Dada and Surrealist material including a number of photographs by Josef Sudek, will combine to create a critical mass of more than 350 surrealist works on display. This event will offer for the first time in the Gallery’s history an opportunity to assess in depth Dada and Surrealism as two of the defining movements in twentieth-century art.
The works in André Masson inside/outside Surrealism are selected entirely from the Sondra and Allan Gotlieb collection of works by the artist donated to the AGO in 1999. The exhibition includes virtually every print and illustrated book of consequence made by the French Surrealist artist André Masson (1896–1987). The 94 works in the exhibition include 67 prints, 24 illustrated books, plus an important oil painting, an ink drawing and a watercolour. Providing an overview of Masson’s fifty-four year career, the exhibition concentrates on the classic surrealist period from 1924 to 1945, but also investigates the later work. In Masson’s earliest artistic phase, from the mid-1920s to the mid-1930s, he developed his automatist methods and his vocabulary of biomorphic images. Masson’s second phase is his American period from 1941 to 1945. The exhibition concludes with the quasi-impressionist work following his return to Paris and subsequent move to Provence, where he counted among his influences Zen/Chinese art.