Friday, July 27, 2012
A gallery has to be pretty damn good to earn the Ubu name. The Ubu Gallery does not disappoint. Nestled beneath the Queensboro bridge on East 59th street, this cozy exhibition space is a veritable trove of surrealist goodness. Yes, surrealism. That term can trigger an eye-roll among art-world intelligentsia, but one trip to Ubu and that smug shrug will turn into something closer to awe. On display is an impressive collection of photographic works by Hans Bellmer and his circle (e.g., a lovely "spumifer," or sexual monster, by George Hugnet). As if that were not enough, the lower level is currently showing 33 exquisite collages by André Breton, Paul Éluard, and Suzanne Muzard (who inspired Breton's poem, Free Union). There are so many tasty montage morsels here that you will feel like a kid in a candy store; one delectable example is pictured above. Astonishingly, these treasures are for sale! This is as good as any museum exhibit you are likely to catch this summer, and it's one in a long string of shows worth seeing. Previous exhibitions have included such pantheonic figures as Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Beuys, Yoko Ono, and Sol Lewitt. The last exhibition juxtaposed Bellmer with his enormously talented muse, Unica Zürn. The surrealist collage show is officially closing on July 31st, but you can call the kind folks at Ubu for a viewing.