Second Smile

1500 KJ


April 23rd – May 24th, 2020

Aaron Elvis Jupin, Adam Parker Smith, Alexander Harrison, Ali Bonfils, Alison Blickle, Anders Oinonen, Anthony Iacono, Ariana Papademetropoulos, Aurel Schmidt, Ben Sanders, Ben Spiers, Botond Keresztesi, Brittney Leeanne Williams, Cathrin Hoffmann, Charline Tyberghein, Emily Mae Smith, Emma Stern, Eric Yahnker, Giorgio De Chirico, Jana Euler, Kara Joslyn, Kevin Christy, Leonor Fini, Louisa Gagliardi, Maria Fragoso, Mimi Parent, Molly Greene, Nicolas Party, Pedro Pedro, René Magritte, Robert Lazzarini, Salvador Dali, Samual Weinberg, Tali Lennox, Tony Matelli

Second Smile looks at new tendencies in figuration with a surrealist bent. Including loans of classical surrealist works, the exhibition will focus on what parts of the surrealist project are compelling for artists today and in what ways these distinctions of movements are being dissolved. Over thirty artists in exhibition, we managed to assemble this broad and diverse group show despite our constrained circumstances. In certain cases, some of the loans intended for shipment will have to appear in the exhibition virtually. Indeed this exhibition will not be able to be open to the public, probably at all; nonetheless we have very slowly installed and documented the show to release April 23rd. We will be unveiling various other digital activations to share the exhibition with everyone remotely!

The title for the exhibition comes from an esoteric text in a half-remembered college class I took in 2002, “Surrealism and Feminism.” A memorable vagina euphemism, the phrase suggests secret feminine pleasure, secret feminine knowledge, perhaps. Certainly since 2002 female surrealists have been foregrounded making once-obscure names like Kay Sage, Unica Zurn, Claude Cahun, Leonora Carrington or Remedios Varo canon. In the past two years alone there have been five major museum shows focused on female surrealists (shows whose wall colors I’ve borrowed for this exhibition actually) including a great show currently on hold at the Schirn Kunsthalle. This formerly-cult college class topic is now at the center, the market has caught up with the critics, curators and scholars, and now many major collections go deep into both classical Surrealism and practicing artists today with a surrealist streak.

Most female surrealists in the last century didn’t like being called female artists or surrealist artists to be honest, and with such a patriarchal manifesto-writing ism-festival who could blame them. It’s odd that this art movement in particular was so male-dominated as its concerns were almost stereotypically feminine: dreams, the body, spirituality, the “soft sciences” of psychoanalysis, all often demoted to woman’s intellectual work. “Anti-reason” seems almost like a gendered pejorative diss. I came out of that class thinking maybe the most biased force on the surrealist movement wasn’t the male artists but the male-dominated critics, society and market. But with the emergence of tons of great work from female surrealists being shown essentially for the first time these past few years, we can nonetheless see the concerns of the female surrealists did have distinctive differences.

Sadly that essay is for another time (I already passed that class don’t make me take it again!) Here we have thirty-five artists to share with you and very little space left to type. Generally speaking the show groups itself into some shared tendencies, whether it is a dark romance coming from Ariana Papademetropoulos, Tali Lennox, Leonor Fini and Alison Blickle; or a face/mask zone with Aurel Schmidt, Kara Joslyn, Charlene Tyberghein, Louisa Gagliardi; a creepy garden with Nicolas Party, Alexander Harrison, Molly Greene or Ben Sanders; or a more pop cartoony type of disturbing with Aaron Elvis Jupin, Adam Parker Smith, Samual Weinberg and Botond Keresztesia. A major group would be embodied distortions of Brittney Leeanne Williams, Ben Spiers, Cathrin Hoffmann, Jana Euler and many more; one of the recurring body parts of the show is the mouth, starting with the vagina-mouth in Magritte’s Le Viol, through the teeth-baring scream of Emily Mae Smith’s archetypal apple. Louisa Gagliardi’s giant spike piercing through the bottom lip of her digitally painted mouth, the open pink shell in Tali Lennox’s lap or the shark-like over-toothed grin of Weinberg’s pink man: the smiles in the show are the mysterious focus, ending with the shrouded—and masked—mouths of Eric Yahnker’s Magritte homage.

Today we don’t need to label artists female and put them in female shows; we don’t even need to label artists surrealistic; I’ve always found manifestoed art movements of the past helpful to organize thought and to hone the timeliness of their generational thinking, but they are at best a jumping off point to get the engine going. In fact, multiple artists in this show specifically said I should “stop calling it the Surrealism and Feminism show for goodness’ sake.” Artists today seem to prefer to be in group shows with random song lyric titles that have no theme rather than be grouped in any way, but I think we can take the middle ground: I picked the artists in the show because they had a whiff of surrealism about them, and then went out in search of a few surrealist works to flavor the sauce. Pedro Pedro’s pomegranate painting has a surrealist aspect to it but far more affinity with the Peter Saul show down the street at the New Museum, or the Chicago Imagists (who were explicitly, avowedly inspired by Surrealism). Aurel Schmidt isn’t a surrealist artist but she plays with a person like a cadavre exquis and I certainly needed at least one artist with the balls to depict some vaginas!

I would love to write in depth about each of the contributions to this show, so watch out for wordy wall labels and the forthcoming Second Smile catalogue by Anteism Books available in May

Above: Kara Joslyn Today The Devil Whispered In My Ear, “You’re Not Strong Enough To Withstand The Storm.” And I Whispered, “6 Feet Back, Motherfucker.”, 2020, acrylic and polymer automative paint on canvas, 36 x 36 inches, 91 x 91 cm



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RMAG 1René Magritte Le Viol “The Rape”, 1979, Lithograph, 29 x 21 inches, 74 x 53 cm, image dimensions: 22 x 17 inches, 56 x 43 cm, Edition 33/200


RL 85Robert Lazzarini Teacup, 2003, Porcelain, stainless steel, 3.5 x 6.25 inches, 9 x 16 cm


CTY 2Charline Tyberghein Untitled, 2019, Acrylic on wood, 24 x 20 inches, 60 x 50 cm


CTY 1Charline Tyberghein Wavering Wally, 2020, Acrylic on wood, 24 x 20 inches, 60 x 50 cm


CTY 0Charline Tyberghein Pissy Patsy, 2020, Acrylic on wood, 24 x 20 inches, 60 x 50 cm


EMS 1Emily Mae Smith A Reckoning, 2018, Oil on linen, 67 x 51 inches, 170 x 130 cm


LGAG 1Louisa Gagliardi Pierced Chin and Ear, 2015, Ink and jewelry on PVC, 17 x 11 inches, 43 x 33 cm


KJos 7Kara Joslyn Today The Devil Whispered In My Ear, “You’re Not Strong Enough To Withstand The Storm.” And I Whispered, “6 Feet Back, Motherfucker.”, 2020, Acrylic and polymer automotive paint on canvas, 36 x 36 inches, 91 x 91 cm


BSP 1Ben Spiers Whittenham, 2018, Oil on linen, 28 x 24 inches, 70 x 61 cm


BSP 2Ben Spiers Memories of Colmar, 2018, Oil on linen, 47 x 47 inches, 120 x 120 cm


AS 185Aurel Schmidt Just Friends, 2020, Colored pencil and acrylic on paper, 17 x 14.5 inches, 43 x 37 cm


BLW 1Brittney Leeanne Williams Naomi and Ruth: Mitosis, 2020, Oil on canvas, 36 x 72 inches, 91 x 183 cm


BLW 2Brittney Leeanne Williams A Gateway Out, 2019, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 51 x 41 cm


MFRA 1Maria Fragoso Punto Ciego, 2020, Oil on canvas, 12 x 10 inches, 31 x 25 cm


ABF 4Ali Bonfils Lap Dog, 2018, Graphite and fiber paste on paper, 21 x 14 inches, 53 x 36 cm, framed dimensions: 26 x 19 inches, 66 x 47 cm


ABF 2Ali Bonfils Butter, 2018, Graphite and gel medium on paper, 11.5 x 6 inches, 29 x 15 cm, framed dimensions: 15 x 12.5 inches, 38 x 32 cm


LEOF 2Leonor Fini Dithyrambe, 1972, color lithograph on Japan paper, 30 x 21 inches, 75 x 52 cm, framed dimensions: 46 x 35 x 2 inches, 117 x 89 x 5 cm, edition 49/95, hand-signed in pencil by the artist


LEOF 1Leonor Fini Woman, 1968, Ink and watercolor on paper, 24 x 20 inches, 60 x 50 cm


TLE 1Tali Lennox Still Life, 2020, Oil on linen, 30 x 24 inches, 76 x 61 cm


APAPA 2Ariana Papademetropoulos Hello Darkness My New Friend, 2020, Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 51 x 41 cm


APAPA 1Ariana Papademetropoulos Untitled, 2019, Cut wooden chair, 41 x 43 x 18 inches, 105 x 110 x 45 cm


MPARMimi Parent Au Lion d’Or, 1965, Oil on canvas, 36 x 29 inches, 91 x 74 cm


MGRN 4Molly Greene Dogged Habit, 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 40 inches, 76 x 102 cm


MGRN 5Molly Greene Effigy, 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 inches, 76 x 61 cm


AIAnthony Iacono Bag, 2015, Acrylic on cut and collaged paper, 24 x 19 inches, 61 x 48 cm


GDC 1Giorgio de Chirico Gli Archeologi, 1969, Lithograph, 28 x 20 inches, 70 x 50 cm, framed Dimensions: 32 x 23.5 inches, 81 x 60 cm, Edition 146/300


EY 133Eric Yahnker Pandemic Lovers (after Magritte), 2020, Oil on canvas, 27.5 x 36 inches, 70 x 91 cm


NiP 2Nicolas Party Landscape, 2012, Hand-tufted wool pile rug, 68 x 100 inches, 173 x 254 cm, Edition 2/8


TMA 1Tony Matelli Bread Head, 2018, Cast stone, painted bronze, 11 x 9 x 10 inches, 28 x 23 x 25 cm

AB 7 NEWAlison Blickle Spell For Peace, 2020, Oil on canvas, 45 inches diameter, 114 cm


KCHR 1Kevin Christy 50/50, 2020, Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 51 x 41 cm


AJ 2Aaron Elvis Jupin Another Self Portrait, 2019, Acrylic, cell vinyl on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, 122 x 91 cm


BKER 2Botond Keresztesi From Dusk Till Dawn I, 2017, Acrylic and airbrush on canvas, 39 x 39 inches, 100 x 100 cm


PPed 5Pedro Pedro Pomegranate, Lemons, Nail Clippers, Cigarette Butt, 2020, Acrylic and textile paint on linen, 20 x 17 inches, 51 x 43 cm


SAMW 1Samual Weinberg Holographic Security Measures, 2018, Oil on canvas, 30 x 24 inches, 76 x 61 cm


13___Jana_EulerJana Euler Sender & Receiver, 2012, Acrylic on canvas, 35 x 47 inches, 89 x 119 cm


CAHOFF 1Cathrin Hoffmann Let It Go To Voicemail, 2020, Oil on canvas, 43 x 59 inches, 110 x 150 cm


CAHOFF 2Cathrin Hoffmann Stop Digging For Hidden Layers, 2020, Oil on canvas, 79 x 75 inches, 200 x 190 cm


BSAND 1Ben Sanders The Night Ant, 2017, Acrylic on panel, 46 x 36 inches, 117 x 91 cm


APSAdam Parker Smith Rock Hard in a Funky Place, 2019, Resin, steel, urethane, fluorescent, marble, 31 x 19 x 10 inches, 79 x 48 x 25 cm, pedestal dimensions: 33 x 11 x 11 inches, 84 x 28 x 28 cm


EStern 460Emma Stern The Chick, 2017, Oil on canvas, 46 x 58 inches, 117 x 147 cm


BKER 1Botond Keresztesi Stoner Elf 2, 2020, Acrylic and oil on canvas, 24 x 20 inches, 61 x 51 cm


SDALSalvador Dalí Flor Dalí, 1967, Gouache, watercolor and ink on paper, 22.5 x 15 inches, 57 x 38 cm


MGRN 3Molly Greene An Unstable Hour, 2020, Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36 inches, 91 x 91 cm


AHAR 1Alexander Harrison Black Butterfly No. 2, 2019, Acrylic on panel, 42 x 48 inches, 107 x 122 cm


AO 29Anders Oinonen Somethings, 2020, Oil on canvas on panel, 72 x 42 inches, 183 x 107 cm