Behind the Surrealist Curtain: Sex, Sensuality & Silence

January 26, 2002 - March 16, 2002

Ubu Gallery presented Behind the Surrealist Curtain in association with private dealer Timothy Baum, and paralleling the exhibition Surrealism: Desire Unbound at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This exhibition explored Surrealism’s erotic side. Influenced by the Freudian notion that sexual instinct was fundamental to the development of the psyche, the Surrealists saw erotic desire as important to self-awareness and the representation of desire as a vehicle to tap into or reflect the sub- and unconscious. No subject matter was too extreme to be excluded, censored or ignored by the Surrealists. In their investigation of dreams, the various states of consciousness, and the libido, they drew little distinction between private and public domains. In presenting works from the first historical art movement to address pointedly the subject of erotic desire (certain of the works are, in fact, sexually explicit), this exhibition raised issues that remain at the fore of consideration in contemporary art and culture.

Victor Brauner, Joseph Cornell, Oscar Dominguez, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, David Hare, Georges Hugnet, Valentine Hugo, Marcel Jean, René Magritte, Marcel Mariën, André Masson, Roberto Matta, Pablo Picasso, Angel Planells, Man Ray, Kurt Seligmann, Jindřich Štyrský, Dorothea Tanning, Raoul Ubac, Laurence Vail

Exhibition checklist
Press release
Announcement edition ubu #23

A catalogue produced in conjunction with the exhibition is available for purchase at the Ubu Gallery store.


The New York Times / Art in Review / March 1, 2002 / Grace Glueck
France / Exhibits / Winter 2001 – 2002 / 1 reproduction
The Art Newspaper / The Wider Commercial Scene / January 2002 / S.E. Canning
NYArts / “Staging Desire at Ubu” / January 2002
The New Yorker / Galleries-Uptown / February 18 – 25, 2002
Art & Auction / “Camera Erotica” / May 2002 / Abigail R. Esman / 4 reproductions

Behind the Surrealist Curtain: Sex, Sensuality & Silence
Emilie Comes to Me in a Dream
Georges Hugnet: The Love Life of the Spumifers (Deluxe Pink Edition)
Georges Hugnet: The Love Life of the Spumifers (Deluxe Black Edition)
Octopus Time: Bellmer Painting