Our picks for the best art shows in the world this year.
PARIS — In the polyvalent and multilayered drawings of André Masson, you can sense a free hand in love with its own movement, but not with itself.
Surreal. It’s one of those words like insane or awesome that’s taken a beating from aggressive misuse. I’ve heard the term applied to both a bus driver wearing a funny hat and the sight of the second plane hitting the tower. “It was so surreal,” that long e sung out like an animal’s cry of distress, is one of the more commonplace characterizations of any even vaguely untypical experience. The show currently at the Morgan Library and Museum, Drawing Surrealism, affords an opportunity to get reacquainted with the ideas and art behind the now overly familiar adjective.
How much more powerful to say “drawing surrealism” than something like “surrealist drawings.” It gets the action into the art, which is, often, exactly where it is. Unweighted by color, untrammeled by, oh you know, something like the history of painting and how the surrealists (in whatever grouping you choose to deal or not deal with them) dealt with that history. Very often, not at all.