Fantastic Visions Beyond Reason at The Met Breuer

By Harriet Salisbury

All that is eccentric and disorderly in art produced between 1950 and 1985 can be found at The Met Breuer this season. Featuring a hundred or so artworks, many drawn from the Met’s collection, the show includes painting and sculpture as well as performance and film. 

PAUL SHARITS, CELLULAR DISORDER 3, CIRCA 1985. © THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, NEW YORK. PURCHASE, EVERETT HOFFMAN GIFT, 2014.

Sol LeWitt, Hanne Darboven, Bruce Nauman, Paul Sharits and Mira Schendel are among the more than 60 artists from the Americas and Europe featured here. Divided into four sections – Vertigo, Excess, Nonsense and Twisted – the exhibition considers the connections between art and the mood of the times, focusing on a post-war period shaped by social and political unrest as well as military conflicts. 

Exploring techniques that destabilised space and perception, these artists offered ways of giving form to extreme mental, emotional and physical states, thus simulating (and stimulating) delirious responses. For the artists as for their viewers, these creative deliriums functioned as a means of abandoning reality for the fantastic and the hallucinatory. 

 

Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950–1985, will be on view at The Met Breuer in New York from 13 September–14 January 2018.

 

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