There are twenty eight artists in the group show Unsparing Quality, curated by Farrah Karapetian, currently at Diane Rosenstein Fine Art. The title is derived from André Breton’s First Manifesto of Surrealism- “Beloved imagination, what I like most in you is your unsparing quality.”
From the press release:
The exhibition poses the question: where do Surrealist impulses manifest in contemporary practice, and why are we seeing this now? The response involves three generations of artists who engage the legacy of Surrealist practice and offer work that investigates the subtle madness of the ordinary world.
The idea of self plays an important role in the collaborative portraits by Zackary Drucker and Luke Gilford titled, This Is What It Looks Like (To Go From One Thing To Everything) pictured above (image via Luke Gilford). In Zackary Drucker’s film with Flawless Sabrina– At least you know: you exist (2010-11) the older and younger artist interact to give a sense of continuation in the exploration of identity.
In Tim Hawkinson’s Samoa (2013), the artist made a bronze cast of his body for the sculpture with chains linking his hands to his tongue. The joints of the chain extending from his mouth are made from casts of the artist’s tongue and lips, while the ones originating from his hands are from casts of his thumb and index finger. The sculpture poses questions about the nature of being an artist and its limitations with a surrealist approach.
Surrealism’s influence can also be seen in Robert Therrien’s beard sculptures. The larger size (pictured above) and a “beard cart” with varying sizes, some of which very small, offer a chance to question the idea of this prop and its potential uses.
The exhibition also includes work going as far back as the early 1920’s to demonstrate the ways in which artists have been exploring and continue to explore the “unsparing quality” of imagination.
You can watch an excerpt of Zackary Drucker’s film here- http://vimeo.com/39088646
Here is a link to Tim Hawkinson talking about his work for a show at Pace Gallery which included Samoa. He explains that the name for this sculpture came in part from the Girl Scout cookies his daughter was selling at the time.