TRANSCENDANTS | Cavin-Morris Gallery

Solange Knopf, Merkabah, 2016, Colored pencil on paper, 31 x 43 inches, 78.7 x 109.2 cm, SoK 89
Art Martin Cid Magazine
Art Martin Cid Magazine

Cavin-Morris is pleased to present TRANSCENDANTS, an exhibition of visionary drawings and paintings.

In the last decade we have seen well-deserved attention paid to the spiritual abstractionists and surrealists of the early to mid-twentieth century.   Exhibitions, books, and articles have been written on new and current artists working within the same parameters.  Shows have been staged in major museums with works by Leonora Carrington, Agnes Pelton, Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz, Remedios Varo, Georgiana Houghton, and others.  The other commonality between these artists is that they all came up through, or were seriously influenced by the ‘Academy’.

There has been a pithy problem with this focus.  It excludes some of the most authentic visionary artists in the world.  It ignores the visionary content of artists who made work as a direct animistic contact with the paranormal world, often mediumistically, and who did not make the work for any part of the art world canon, but rather for personal and/or community or cultural reasons. 

French writer and artist, and early collaborator with Jean Dubuffet, André Breton, was aware of these mediumistic creations.  Dubuffet was also aware of them, but being more concerned with the overall concept of art brut, he chose to erase any previous label, such as spiritualist or mediumistic, to rebrand it with the words art brut.   Breton preferred that the work not be pigeon-holed and this was a major cause of their diverging paths.  The artists in our exhibition like Anna Zemánková, Henriette Zéphir and Solange Knopf have been making abstract visionary work exclusively and concurrently with the work of the academically trained artists. 

The word ‘visionary’ is not a monolith of meaning.  For this exhibition we are most interested in the works that serve as vessels of real spiritual connection, whether achieved through personal or community belief, communication with or direct and immediate presentation of a vision.  This work is not so much a narrative of visionary experience as it is an actual utilization of the work as an arena of paranormal experience.  For this reason also, our exhibition isn’t and cannot be encyclopedic.  Though ignored by mainstream art history its actual global presence is huge.   TRANSCENDANTS could entertain and sustain a thousand variations.

Artists in the exhibition include: Eva Droppova, Pauline Sunfly, Solange Knopf, M’onma, Cecilie Markova, J.B. Murray, Melvin Edward Nelson, František Jaroslav Pecka, anonymous Czech works, Chiyuki Sakagami, Gregory Van Maanen, Helen Butler Wells, Agatha Wojciechowsky, Anna Zemánková, and Henriette Zéphir.

Chiyuki Sakagami
Chiyuki Sakagami, Untitled, 2000, Ink on paper
5.31 x 3.15 inches, 13.5 x 8 cm, SaC 2
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News about art, exhibitions, museums and artists around the world. An international view of the art world. Responsible for the Art Section: Lisbeth Thalberg
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