Exhibition poster of the work, No One Heard Thunder (1939), by Kay Sage (1898-1965), published in conjunction with the exhibition, Fantastic Women, at Louisiana, in 2020. This first major collective presentation of female Surrealists, many of whom had previously have been overlooked and forgotten, testified that women have played a more important and more vocal role in Surrealism than in any other artistic avant-garde movement.
The female Surrealists were generally younger than their male counterparts and therefore did not create many of their major works until the 1940s and 1950s.
The exhibition showed, on the one hand, that the female artists worked within themes that in many cases were already associated with surrealism, but at the same time also how they differ from their male colleagues—not least in their search for a (new) female identity model. This often involved an examination of one's own reflection and a play with different roles and female sexuality.
The female artists generally rebelled against a gender-specific role behavior and often portrayed themselves with markedly androgynous features or in unusual roles or disguises. Thus, one finds both hybrid beings and demonic seductresses used in this search for imagery that could be used as a template for female identity.
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