PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston December 2022

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Page 51 of 123

Surreal Years Menil From top: Max Ernst's Marlene, 1940-41. Robert Gober's Untitled, 2005. A s gala-goers celebrate The Menil Collection's 3 5 t h a n n i v e r s a r y Saturday, December 3, with a brilliant black-tie evening billed as Cirque Surréaliste: A Night of Spectacle & Celebration, we look at highlights from the museum's renowned collection of surrealism — a cache personally assembled by the late Dominique and John de Menil over the course of a lifetime. The Menil is not merely a museum; it's a model of collecting and friendships between patrons and artists that's never institutional but rare and important — a touchstone for art and activism to this day, four decades after its unveiling in 1987. Dominique de Menil wrote in a letter to Houston artist Jim Love in 1979: "Museums have been notoriously necropolises rather than houses but not all. I'm working towards a house for what I have loved." As a tribute, we offer images that speak to the beginning of The Menil Collection via the founders' camaraderie with the surrealists, the band of artists who between the World Wars questioned the order of their time. Across more than a half century, these works, and those made by their followers, still resonate with us today. Catherine D. Anspon Find our anniversary ode to the Menil, featuring contemporary artists that embrace surrealism, online at Milestone: 35 THE MENIL COLLECTION, HOUSTON. © ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK / ADAGP, PARIS. THE MENIL COLLECTION, HOUSTON. © ROBERT GOBER. 42

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