The unconscious mind surfaces in GroundSwell Gallery’s inaugural exhibition of Exquisite Corpse: End to End. Inspired by an early 20th century Dada and Surrealist art trend, the Exquisite Corpse is a group collaboration with a catch: the 16 artists who participated had no knowledge of the others’ contributions until the works were installed in the gallery, strung end to end.
Provided with the same media (paper) and writing utensils (graphite and colored pens), the artists involved in the project could only speculate as to what might be attached at each end of their drawing. With no set theme in place, their only other guide were “starter marks,” drawn in the left and the right margins that would eventually connect one piece to the next.
Walking into the exhibit, the first thing that stood out was the variety of different themes and styles. From human anatomy to animals to abstract shapes, the atmosphere initially seemed chaotic.
However, similar color schemes (yellow, blue and purple) emerged among some of the pieces. This helped the drawings flow from one end of the gallery to the other, regardless of subject matter.
The Exquisite Corpse exhibition embraces randomness, opening up a new way to experience art. It is stream of consciousness in art form. Moving from piece to piece created a story that, while random and slightly bizarre, unlocked limitless possibilities for interpretation.
Looking at what the artists did with their “starter marks” was also interesting. While some of the marks were subtle, a thin wisp of a pencil or a line of color, others were fully incorporated into the work, highlighting the similarities and differences between the drawings and the artists.So, the next time you’re looking to mix up your usual exhibition routine, head down to GroundSwell Gallery to check out Exquisite Corpse: End to End for an experience that will not be forgotten.
GroundSwell Gallery is open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. For curator hours visit the Gallery on Fridays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The show runs through July 11. All drawings are for individual sale.