The Surrealists’ Dance With The Yup’ik

Gini Alhadeff writes: ‘At the Di Donna Galleries on Madison Avenue, the masks of the Yup’ik, an indigenous people related to the Inuit, seem to float off the dark blue walls where they hang, between paintings by Yves Tanguy and André Masson, Joan Miró and Enrico Donati, Victor Brauner and Wolfgang Paalen—all Surrealists, most of whom fled wartime Europe in the 1940s for New York. The connection between the Surrealists’ productions and the Yup’ik artefacts in the installation is never direct: they seem, rather, to have drifted together naturally. The first mask (pictured) on entering, from Goodnews Bay, Alaska, which once belonged to André Breton, has one round eye, carved out, and one slanted, like an almond set at an angle.’

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