new-york

“Women Surrealists”

Jeffery Hoffeld & Company, Inc.

They say that “God is in the details?’In this revival of women Surrealists’ works from the ’30s to the ’50s the jewellike precision of the smallish paintings does give them what René Passeron calls Surrealism’s ”sacred construction," although the tone is mystical rather than religious. The sense of the miniature added to the exhibition’s mood of treasured discovery, but begged for an explanation because the traditional association of women artists with small work is so strong, and the finely wrought, even spidery quality of these works is so open to dismissal.

If these canvases suggest illuminated manuscripts—themselves forerunners of the miniature—it may be because Surrealism came out of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, which in turn looked back to the Middle Ages. Their particularization may be a way of heightening the hallucinatory impact. Their Old Masterish style, of which Leonor Fini’s

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