On January 24, 2012, Raphael and I went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's preview
of "In Wonderland," an exhibit of surrealist women artists from Mexico and the U.S. which
includes several works by Frida Kahlo and friends. "In Wonderland" is a reference to Lewis Carroll's "Alice In Wonderland" and the introductory notes state that the works show a different perspective, as if these artists had been "down the rabbit hole," both in the sense of their personal lives and trauma that happened to them as children, as well as in the fact of their being women.
We arrived at 8:00 p.m. on a beautiful Thursday evening in L.A. where we met the friend who had invited us, Meg Hunt. (Nom de Plume alert!) After some wine, a delicious salad with walnuts and apples and a visit with our tablemates, two women who had driven up from Palos Verdes for the event, we ambled into the exhibit and each lost ourselves in the art, bumping into each other occasionally over the next hour. The show, which is part of the ongoing Pacific Standard Time series, consists of paintings, sculpture, photography, "constructs" and architecture. Not surprisingly, many of the works have dolls in them. There were lots of paintings of women, but no female nudes in the manner you might expect to see in paintings by male artists.
At ten, I found Raphael and Meg, whose feet were hurting as much as mine were, as we both
wore heels. [Meg and I, not Raphael!] On the way to the parking lot, we discussed our favorite works and artists from the show. It was liberating to see women depicted from a female point of view. I liked Frida Kahlo's wedding portrait with her husband at the time, Diego Rivera, where he is gigantic and she is tiny, and a painting by Dorothea Tanner, who looks strangely modern in a 1930's era self-portrait in black pants, sitting astride a stool, looking young, beautiful and powerful. There were too many works to adequately describe here, so I want to go back and delve into this exhibit in greater depth. I also want to explore the connection between Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" and some of these works. More on this soon!
Well, Veronica has thrown down the gauntlet. Again. First, I am to make a friend for Winifred. That's the easy part. But also, Vera tells me that Winifred wants a puppy. And it has to be a St. Bernard. And three-dimensional, with tee-shirt "fur." It's always a challenge, but I'll give it a try.
First, the dolls: Vera has already named this one "Cordelia," who will be a variation of Mimosa. [see pictures of Mimosa on the "dolls" page and in an earlier blog post, where she models Winifred's studio outfit.] Another doll, Hyacinth, a red-head, is named after a character in Mary Gaskell's 19th Century novel, "Wives and Daughters." [More on that next week.] These dolls will be the first in the "Tomboy" series. You can pictures of Cordelia, Hyacinth, Donette and Mitzi modeling their current hairstyles here. It's fun to imagine how to redesign their shoes, bodies and clothes to make them more tomboy-like. I'll be posting pictures as the dolls move from the drawing board, literally, through the creative process. And there's a new Raggedy Ann in the works, who'll have brown eyes and brown curls. [Wait till you see the new curly style!]
Liz [Nom de Plume alert!] and Malekai are working on some wire-framed dolls, Also, Liz
promised to send me one of her drawings for a new doll and I can't wait to get started!
It's going to be a busy year. Now, go see some art! Till next week….