With the hype surrounding the Cindy Sherman blockbuster retrospective on the 6th floor, which critics have almost unanimously praised, I was surprised to find that the most invigorating, exciting and generally mind-blowing exhibition at MoMA right now is Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Disfiguration, a small drawing show on the third floor.
Proving the continued importance and relevance of Surrealist art, Exquisite Corpses demonstrates that exhibitions do not have to be the biggest or display the hottest contemporary artist to be invigorating. These works easily delve into important artistic issues about the representation of not only the human figure but also the thoughts, emotions, sexuality and experiences contained within it.
The exquisite corpse drawings of the Surrealists were basically an artistic game that invited different artists to take turns drawing a part of the body until it is complete. The result distorts and twists the figure into something I think can be more psychologically true to the human form than academic figure drawing. The works in Exquisite Corpses range from original Surrealist pieces from the 1920s to later work by Georges Bataille, Louise Bourgeoise, Jackson Pollock and contemporary artists such as George Condo and Marcel Dzarma.