25 Nov 2020

Fantastic Women

On some female contributors to the surrealist networks
Ingrid Pfeiffer
Paris, France
The École des modernités At the Institut Giacometti

The female figure is central in the surrealists’ fantasy. Female artists joined the movement from the beginning as companions, or models, but they soon went out of these roles to produce their own original works. They distinguished themselves from their male companion in their search for producing new models to the artistic identity for women. Beyond  well know figures such as Louise Bourgeois, Claude Cahun, Leonora Carrington, Frida Kahlo or Meret Oppenheim, this subject makes it possible to apprehend works by lesser known artist such as Alice Rahon, Emmy Bridgwater, Bridget Tichenor, Remedios Varo, Jane Graverol or Rachel Baes. Gathering them enables us to better understand the international networks inside surrealism, and to apprehend works that have been underlooked.

Photo © Ingrid Pfeiffer

Ingrid Pfeiffer is an art historian, curator at the Schirn Kunsthalle (Francfort) since 2000. Among others, she published books on Erich Buchholz (1994) and Richard Gerstl (2017). She was curator of multiple exhibitions, including « Matisse – die Scherenschnitte » (“Matisse – the cut-outs”, Schirn 2002), « Esprit Montmartre. Bohemian life in Paris around 1900 » (Schirn, 2014), et d’une série d’expositions consacrées à la contribution des femmes aux mouvements modernes : « Impressionistinnen. Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, Marie Bracquemond » (Schirn, 2008), « Sturm-Frauen. Künstlerinnen der Avantgarde in Berlin 1910–1932 » (Schirn 2015-16), and more recently « Fantastic women. Surreal worlds from Meret Oppenheim to Frida Kahlo » (Schirn, 2020).

Online lecture recorded on Zoom.


Ingrid PFEIFFER - Fantastic women : on some female contributors to the surrealist networks

To search for a work, consult the Alberto Giacometti Database