The University of Arizona Museum of Art and Archive of Visual Arts

From Real to Surreal

An Unfolding Legacy
Dorthea Tanning, Porte-Feuille (Pocket-Book), 1946, oil on panel
Matsumi Kanemistu, Morning Iris 1980, oil on canvas
Raul Dufy, Naïade Amphitrite (Water-Nymph Amphritite, Goddess of the Sea), c. 1937, watercolor

January 10 – April 28, 2014

Since its inception the UAMA has received hundreds of art donations both in large and small quantities that have expanded the breadth of its collection. From Real to Surreal represents just a sampling of donations received from various donors between 1950 and 2005. Each donor had a personal reason for giving art to the University of Arizona. For some, there was a direct connection with the UA and for others there was simply the desire to share their art with the community and future generations.

Ranging from realistic to surrealistic, this exhibit demonstrates the great variety of art produced during the late 19th and 20th centuries in America and Europe. Although some works, such as Matsumi Kanemitsu’s Morning Iris, are completely abstracted and filled with pure saturated color, even the figurative and landscape works push the boundaries of what is real and tangible. Romare Bearden’s Siren’s Song has a discernible narrative, yet the geometric shapes and opaque colors give the illusion of a dream world. In John Marin’s New York Landscape, color and line become just as much the subject of the work as the skyline itself. Georgia O’Keeffe’s magnified and monumental Red Canna shows the power of nature as inspiration while Max Ernst shows the irrational in Arizona Nightingale. Although each artist uses different methods, all of the works in this exhibition show the force of imagination and creativity that persists in art.