June 27–October 13, 2014

Real/Surreal: Selections from the Whitney Museum of American Art

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  • Jared French (1905–1988). State Park, 1946. Egg tempera on composition board, 23 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Donnelley Erdman 65.78. Photography by Sheldan C. Collins

  • Edward Hopper (1882–1967). Cape Cod Sunset, 1934. Oil on canvas, 29 1/8 x 36 1/4 in. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Josephine N. Hopper Bequest 70.1166. © The Heirs of Josephine N. Hopper, Licensed by Whitney Museum of American Art. Digital Image © Whitney Museum of American Art

  • George Tooker (1920–2011). The Subway, 1950. Egg tempera on composition board, 18 1/8 x 36 1/8 in. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Juliana Force Purchase Award 50.23. Courtesy of the Estate of George Tooker and DC Moore Gallery, N.Y. Photography by Sheldan C. Collins

A survey of works from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s drawn from the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Real/Surreal examines American artists' representations of reality as a subjective and malleable state of mind rather than a fixed truth. Influenced by European Surrealists of the 1920s like Salvador Dalí and René Magritte, some American artists used the tools of illusionistic representation to subvert reality entirely, while others subtly tweaked the conventions of realism to turn the familiar into something unsettling and uncanny. The exhibition includes works by Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, Man Ray and Thomas Hart Benton, among others.

Real/Surreal is organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

The exhibition's tour was funded in part by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts gratefully acknowledges our Picasso Circle Members as Exhibition Patrons.


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Location: Upper-Level Galleries

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