Exquisite Corpse - The Surrealist Tendancy in Collage

cecil touchon
Mar 16, 2016 6:17PM

Three Surrealist inspired collage artists from California whose works draw on the elements and principles of the Surrealist tradition.


EXQUISITE CORPSE – The Surrealist Tendency in Collage HOPE KROLL – SHERRY PARKER – FRANK WHIPPLE "The creative process, so far as we are able to follow it at all, consists in the unconscious activation of an archetypal image and elaborating and shaping the image into the finished work. By giving it shape, the artist translates it into the language of the present and so makes it possible for us to find our way back to the deepest springs of life." - Carl Jung

Nisa Touchon Fine Art – Santa Fe is pleased to announce the exhibition: EXQUISITE CORPSE – The Surrealist Tendency in Collage HOPE KROLL – SHERRY PARKER – FRANK WHIPPLE

The Artists’ Reception is on Friday the 13th of November during the hours from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.

Everyone is invited to attend. The exhibition continues through Dec 12th.


Exquisite Corpse originally from the French Cadavre Exquis was a parlor game developed by the Surrealists in the 1920’s as a form of diversion and entertainment and even collaboration and illumination. The name itself emerged in the late ‘teens with a literary version of the game in which the following phrase was produced : ‘The/ exquisite/ corpse/ will/ drink/ the/ young/ wine’

The game is played by three or more artists contributing a part of a drawing or collage on a folded sheet of paper. Each artist cannot see the work of the previous contributors other than the edge from which the next artist will continue. Once completed the work of art is unfolded revealing the total work. The final product will undoubtedly be amusing and reveal strange connections between the parts. The classic exercise is to construct a figure with one artist doing the head and shoulders, another the torso and the third the legs and feet.

Interests by members of the Surrealist group in the operations of chance and the role of the unconscious - both collective and personal - in creative activities as explored in the psychological theories of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung made the activity of creating examples of the exquisite corpse especially meaningful and often poignant. The game's process acts as a tool for revealing hidden archetypal images and unconscious patterns that can be speculated about or read like tea leaves or ink blots.

The term is used for this exhibition to refer to three Surrealist inspired collage artists from California whose works draw on the elements and principles of the game as it pertains to collage techniques in the construction of their images. It could be said that we experience the world at this point in history as a continuously mutating exquisite corpse made of unrelated images and information from which many collage artists draw much of their inspiration.

In the case of Hope Kroll, who incorporates meticulously cut out illustrations from antique and vintage books, we find a response to this elaborate and complex world expressed in dense psychological compositions composed in an interesting 3-D technique that give the works a very physical presence. Her surgically precise cuttings give the works a sense of wonder rarely experienced in today’s art world.

Sherry Parker produces intimate, roughly book sized collages by creating a rich background or minimal environment for her dream-like, carefully constructed figures to live out their whimsical lives taking flights of the imagination in beautifully constructed aviaries.

Frank Whipple also produces intimate collages, often postcard sized. On view will be a number of intriguing figurative constructions composed of elements of antique engravings that almost resemble kachina dolls.

In addition, on display from the Collage Museum Archives will be a rarely exhibited 8x10 inch case by Hope Kroll containing fifty plus tiny boxes filled with very small collages and collections of things that Kroll produced in 2009 as part of the Fluxcase Micro-museum.

cecil touchon