WOMEN & SURREALISM Whitney Chadwick/ Marina Warner; ICA, London; 25/3/86

Whitney Chadwick discusses her landmark text Women Artists and the Surrealist Movement. Despite the avant-garde nature of Surrealism as an artistic movement, key male figures such as Andre Breton held extremely conservative attitudes towards women. The movement is famous for reducing women to the beautiful but redundant figure of the muse, and Chadwick suggests that this as an expression of male anxiety.

Female protagonists such as Leonor Fini and Georgia O Keefe rejected the political and Freudian elements of male defined Surrealism. Alienated from this patriarchal, theoretical framework, they tended to look to their interior political world and make work that expressed the shared experiences of women as objectified figures in society. Chadwick argues that the sustained power of works of artists such Frida Kahlo, resides in the intimate and honest spirit of the artwork.


Accession No. WAA.018
Artist: WOMEN & SURREALISM Whitney Chadwick/ Marina Warner
Container annotation: on the new book
Place/Year: ICA, London 25/3/86
Type: Talk
Technical aspects: Not very loud but enough. Mono
Duration: 90'
Tape capacity: 90
Tape brand: BX