Organized in collaboration with Nicholas Hall, a specialist in the field of Old Masters and nineteenth-century art, this exhibition takes as its point of departure Alfred H. Barr Jr.’s legendary 1936 exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism, which not only introduced these movements to the American public, but also placed them in a historical and cultural context by situating them with artists from earlier centuries. Drawn from international museum and private collections, the exhibition at David Zwirner will include works from the twelfth century to the present day.
The exhibition will provide a unique opportunity to examine affinities in intention and imagery between works executed across a broad span of time. Endless Enigma will explore the ways artists have sought to explain their world in terms of an alternate reality, drawn from imagination, the subconscious, poetry, nature, myth, and religion. Works on view range from gothic gargoyles; masterworks from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries by Herri met de Bles, Hieronymus Bosch, Piero di Cosimo, and Titian; seventeenth- and eighteenth-century works by Damiano Cappelli, Pietro Novelli, and Salvator Rosa; nineteenth-century works by William Blake, James Ensor, Francisco de Goya, Gustave Moreau, Odilon Redon, and James Ward; and works from the twentieth century to the present day by Eileen Agar, Francis Alÿs, Louise Bourgeois, Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, Leonor Fini, Robert Gober, José Gutiérrez Solana, Sherrie Levine, René Magritte, Roberto Matta, Pablo Picasso, Wallace Putnam, Man Ray, Kay Sage, Yves Tanguy, and Lisa Yuskavage, among others.
In conjunction with the exhibition, David Zwirner Books will publish a fully illustrated catalogue, which will include new scholarship by Dawn Ades, Olivier Berggruen, and J. Patrice Marandel.