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Release: Immediate

'Surrealism' and 'European Prints' exhibitions open at UI Museum of Art

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two exhibitions, "The Spell of Surrealism" and "European Prints from the First Half of the 20th Century," will be on display June 21-Aug. 10 in the University of Iowa Museum of Art.

These prints and other works on paper are gathered from the museum's permanent collection.

"The Spell of Surrealism" reviews the work of the historical surrealists, a group of artists led by the French poet Andre Breton in the first half of the 20th century. The surrealists were united by their interest in psychoanalysis and dreams, and, above all, by a desire to distort the appearance of conventional reality in their art.

A surprising diversity of styles developed among the surrealists, even though they formed a highly centralized and discrete movement incorporating manifestoes, a definable membership and even a leader.

The exhibition features work by Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Rene Magritte and Joan Miro, as well as later artists who were heavily influenced by surrealist theories, including Enrico Baj and Robert Motherwell.

"European Prints from the First Half of the 20th Century" reflects not only the wide range of styles but also the variety of political agendas that informed European art between the two world wars.

For example, Picasso's "The Dream and Lie of Franco" is a response to specific historical events, the brutalities of the Spanish Civil War. On the other hand, Villon's "Cubist Abstraction" responds to its contemporary political climate by suppressing individual style and thereby striving toward a universal language of abstraction.

The exhibition also features woodblock prints, drypoint, etching and lithography by Max Beckmann, Marc Chagall, Lovis Corinth, Erich Heckel and others.

The two exhibitions were organized by Sarah J. Warren, a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Art and a graduate student in the UI School of Art and Art History.

The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the museum is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking lots across from the museum on Riverside Drive, and adjacent to the UI Alumni Center, which is just north of the museum.