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Alice Rahon: Poetic Invocations

Next Morning, 1958, Alice Rahon.

The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA) presents a new exhibition featuring works of French-Mexican surrealist painter Alice Rahon (1904–1987). The “Poetic Invocations” exhibition aims to contribute to the scholarship and recognition of under-explored women artists, and to the intercultural influences on European artists in exile in the Americas, whose work was often deeply marked by indigenous and archaic cultures. 

Poetic Invocations” marks the first solo show dedicated to Rahon’s work in the United States in 55 years since her exhibition at the Louisiana Gallery in Houston, Texas in 1964. The exhibition examines a robust art-historical moment that emerged in 1940 as an international community of artists fled World War II in Europe and settled in Mexico. It will feature approximately 30 works including paintings, works on paper, assemblages, as well as archival material such as the Dyn journal, original poems and manuscripts and photographs to put an emphasis on Rahon´s oeuvre as a whole. The exhibition will explore five fundamental themes: art as poetic invocation, the power of the immemorial past, the journal that challenged limits, the volcano and the Mexican landscape and light: the dilution of inside and outside, and the metaphorical experience of the inside out: fiestas and popular art in Mexico.

About the artist:
Alice Phillipot (later Paalen and Rahon) was a French/Mexican poet and artist, whose work contributed to the beginning of abstract expression in Mexico. She began as a surrealist poet in Europe, but turned her creativity to painting in Mexico. She was a prolific artist from the late 1940s to the 1960s, exhibiting frequently in Mexico and the United States, with a wide circle of friends in these two countries. She was drawn to light and color, and established a continuous dialogue between painting and poetry. Her creations brought together Mexican landscapes, myths, legends and fiestas, and she was a pioneer in the use of sand and texture on her canvases, which included subtle graffito markings. Her oeuvre has been overlooked for many years. 

Public Reception with Curator Teresa Arcq: Thursday, December 5, 8-11pm.

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