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Published: 2014-01-22

Leonor Fini / Pourquoi pas?

NEWS The exhibition “Leonor Fini / Pourquoi pas?” will be inaugurated by the French Ambassador in Sweden, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, on Sunday 2 February at 15:00 and will run until 11 May, 2014. Welcome to a press preview on Thursday 30 January at 10:00.

(The same dates for preview and opening of the exhibition Katarina Pirak Sikku / Nammaláhpán)

Leonor Fini (1907-1996) was a noted artist and personality in European cultural life in the mid-1900s. Her work challenged and questioned the boundaries between feminine and masculine, myth and reality, consciousness and the unconscious. The complexity of the relationship between the sexes is central to Leonor Fini who often depicts the interactions between a dominant woman and a more passive androgynous man. Several of her works also problematize the simplistic image of woman as muse and model in art.

Fini went emphatically her own way and her work is characterized by a radical, consistent and individual approach. She moved in Surrealist circles and participated in the Surrealist exhibitions while, simultaneously, maintaining distance from the group's protagonist André Breton and his domineering attitude. Her contacts and collaborations with Jean Genet and Georges Bataille, among others, is reflected in her work. The relationship between the sexes is a central theme of the exhibition that includes works from 1930’s, 40’s and 50's.

Surrealism is a cultural movement that emerged in Europe during the 1920s. It was of great significance for the development of art in the Western world during the first half of the 1900s and also came to influence political thought, social theory and philosophy. To deviate from routine, be spontaneous, inspired by dreams and the unconscious were particular traits among the Surrealists.

The exhibition Leonor Fini / Pourquoi pas? highlights the diversity of Leonor Fini’s expression and presents paintings, drawings, objects, book illustrations, literature as well as costume design for theatre, ballet and opera. It also includes a selection of portrait photographs of Leonor Fini where she poses in various contexts, many of which are taken by and along with her fellow artists.

The exhibitions’ subtitle Pourquoi pas? (Why not?) refers to a previously unpublished manuscript by Leonor Fini dated 1995, where she compiled short texts from different periods of her life under the title Pourquoi pas? Three of these texts has now been translated from French into English and Swedish and is included in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition.

Despite Leonor Fini's importance as an artist and her status as cultural personality she has not, until today, been presented in Scandinavia. From an art historical perspective, her production is a point of reference and an exhibition of her accomplished artistic abilities is most appropriate. The works have been borrowed from private collectors and museums in Europe and the U.S. It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that we present the works by Leonor Fini for the first time in Northern Europe.

Parallel to the exhibition, an extensive program of activities with related guided presentations, film screenings, open workshops and educational programs will be arranged. The exhibition is also accompanied by a richly illustrated bilingual exhibition catalogue (English and Swedish) with previously unpublished texts by Leonor Fini alongside new texts by Lasse Söderberg, poet and author, Anna Rådström, art historian, Cecilia Andersson and Brita Täljedal, curators.

The exhibition Leonor Fini / Pourquoi pas? is produced by Bildmuseet with the support of Umeå2014, a key stakeholder in the city's European Capital of Culture year. Curators: Brita Täljedal, Cecilia Andersson and Anna Rådström. Scenographer: Alexandre Früh, Atelier Caravane, Strasbourg.

For further information, please contact

Brita Täljedal, Curator Bildmuseet
Phone +46 90-786 7714
E-mail brita.taljedal@bildmuseet.umu.se

Programs in conjuction with the exhibition

SUN 2/2 AT 15:00
Opening: Leonor Fini / Pourquoi pas?. Inauguration speech by Jean-Pierre Lacroix, French Ambassador in Sweden

SUN 9/2 AT 14:00
Surrealism and sensuality. Author Jonas Ellerström and Professor Elisabeth Mansén Ellerström give a tour in Leonor Fini / Pourquoi pas?

SUN 16/2 AT 14:00
Curator Brita Täljedal gives a tour in the exhibition Leonor Fini / Pourquoi pas?

SUN 2/3 KL 14:00
Curator Cecilia Andersson gives a tour in the exhibition Leonor Fini / Pourquoi Pas?

SUN 9/3 AT 14:00
Self-stagings. Andrea Kollnitz Assistant Professor at the Centre for Fashion Studies, Stockholm University, gives a tour in Leonor Fini / Pourquoi pas?

THU 13/3 AT 16:00-22:00
Ceci n’est pas une soirée de surréalisme. An evening in the sign of surrealism, with poetry, film, art and celebration. In cooperation with Littfest – Umeå International Literature Festival

THU 13/3 AT 16:00
Film: IMAGO: Meret Oppenheim. Director Pamela Robertson-Pearce gives an introduction to her and Anselm Spoerri’s poetic documentary. Language: English. In cooperation with Littfest

THU 13/3 AT 19:30
The Beautiful and the Obscene. Author Aase Berg and Professor Birgitta Holm in conversation about Rut Hillarp and the literary surrealism. Moderator: Anna Rådström. In cooperation with Umeå International Literature Festival

THU 13/3 AT 21:00
Poetry bar with readings of Sjón, Helena Fagertun, Athena Farrokhzad, Aase Berg, Grace Nichols and Joh Tachibana. In cooperation with Littfest

TUE 25/3 AT 18:30
Film: Gifted Beauties (54 min). Anne Kjersti Bjørns award-winning animated documentary about the women of surrealism. Language: English

SUN 13/4 AT 14:00
Director Daniel Birnbaum and Co-Director Ann-Sofi Noring, Moderna Museet, give a tour in Leonor Fini  / Pourquoi pas?

SUN 27/4 AT 14:00
Leonor Fini: An Independent Voice That Shaped Surrealist History. Whitney Chadwick, Author of the book Women Artists and the Surrealist Movement and Richard Overstreet, initiator and Director of the Leonor Fini Archive, give a tour in the exhibition Leonor Fini / Pourquoi pas?

SUN 4/5 AT 14:00
Leonor Fini Meets Donna Haraway – a Feminist and Surrealistic Intertwining. Anna Croon Fors, Associate Professor and Head of Umeå Centre for Gender Studies at Umeå University, gives a tour in Leonor Fini / Pourquoi pas?

Editor: Helena Vejbrink