Interiors and Exteriors: Avant-Garde Itineraries in Postwar France

December 17, 2013 – March 16, 2014

Installation view of the exhibition

Installation view

This exhibition traced the relationship between the emerging generation of avant-garde movements in 1950s France and the surrealist movement, re-established in Paris after the war.

The social milieu of the Left Bank offered rich material for artists to map social and psychological experience by tracing quotidian itineraries and social interactions. These contesting visions of the relationship between interior and exterior life in art represent a tense exploration of the location of the personal and the political within reconstruction-era France. 

Interiors and Exteriors featured an array of artworks and artists’ publications from the Smart’s collection as well as the University of Chicago and Northwestern University libraries. A related film, performance, and lecture series explored these topics throughout the year.

Free public programs

November 15, 2013, 5:30 pm
Film Screening: Documentary Avant-Gardes

January 4, 2014, 1–4 pm
Family Day: Wrapping Paper Mural

January 16, 2014, 5:30–7:30 pm
Third Thursday: Draw Bad

January 23, 2014, 5–8 pm
Get Lost! Avant-Garde Itineraries at the University of Chicago

January 31, 2014, 5:30 pm
Film Screening: Has The Film Already Started?

February 20, 2014, 4:30 pm
Lecture: "Simon Hantaï and the Remains of Painting"
Molly Warnock (Johns Hopkins University)

February 21, 2014, 9 am–5 pm

March 4, 2013, 4:30 pm
Lecture: "Off Screen Cinema: Isidore Isou and the Lettrist Avant-Garde"
Kaira Cabañas (PUC-Rio, Brazil)

April 18, 2014, 5:30 pm
Postwar Surrealist Film: The Wandering Eye