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Endless Enigma: Eight Centuries of Fantastic Art
Nicholas Hall & David Zwirner
August 2018

September 12 –October 27, 2018
537 West 20th Street, New York

Opening reception: Wednesday, September 12, 6–8 PM
Press preview: Wednesday, September 12, 10 AM
Special event:“Fantastic Art Revisited: Exhibiting Old Masters and Contemporary Art”
Saturday, October 27, The Kitchen, New York


David Zwirner is pleased to present Endless Enigma: Eight Centuries of Fantastic Art, a thematic exhibition spanning two floors of the gallery’s West 20th Street location in New York. Organized in collaboration with Nicholas Hall, a specialist in the field of Old Masters and nineteenth-century art, this exhibition takes as its point of departure Alfred H. Barr Jr.’s legendary 1936 exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism, which not only introduced these movements to the American public, but also placed them in a historical and cultural context by situating them with artists from earlier centuries. Drawn from international museum and private collections, the exhibition at David Zwirner will include more than 130 works from the twelfth century to the present day.

The exhibition will provide a unique opportunity to examine affinities in intention and imagery between works executed across a broad span of time. Organized into six themes— Monsters & Demons, Dreams & Temptation, Fragmented Body, Unconscious Gesture, Super Nature, and Sense of Place—Endless Enigma will explore the ways in which artists have sought to explain their world in terms of an alternate reality, drawn from imagination, the subconscious, poetry, nature, myth, and religion. Works on view will range from medieval gargoyles; masterworks from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, a contemporary follower of Hieronymus Bosch, Piero di Cosimo, and Titian; seventeenth-century paintings by Jan Breughel the Younger and Salvator Rosa; eighteenth- century works on paper by Francisco de Goya and Giovanni Battista Piranesi; nineteenth- century works by William Blake, James Ensor, Gustave Moreau, and Odilon Redon; and works from the twentieth century to the present day by Eileen Agar, Jean Arp, Michaël Borremans, Louise Bourgeois, Giorgio de Chirico, Joseph Cornell, Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Marcel Dzama, Max Ernst, Leonor Fini, Alberto Giacometti, Robert Gober, Alfred Kubin, Sherrie Levine, René Magritte, Kerry James Marshall, Roberto Matta, Raymond Pettibon, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Sigmar Polke, Man Ray, Kay Sage, Yves Tanguy, Luc Tuymans, and Lisa Yuskavage, among other artists.

In conjunction with the exhibition, David Zwirner Books will publish a fully illustrated scholarly catalogue, which will include new essays by Dawn Ades, Olivier Berggruen, and J. Patrice Marandel.

A symposium on Fantastic Art, organized by Nicholas Hall and Yuan Fang, will take place on October 27 at The Kitchen. Participants will include Olivier Berggruen (independent art historian and curator), Till-Holger Borchert (Director of Musea Brugge, Bruges), David Freedberg (Pierre Matisse Professor of the History of Art and Director of The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, Columbia University, New York), J. Patrice Marandel (independent art historian and curator), Richard Rand (Associate Director for Collections, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles), Hannah Segrave (PhD candidate in Baroque Art History, University of Delaware, Newark), Luke Syson (Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Chairman of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), Oliver Tostmann (Susan Morse Hilles Curator of European Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut), and Anne Umland (The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Curator of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York).

Exhibited artists:

Eileen Agar (1899–1991)
Giuseppe Arcimboldo (c. 1527–1593)
Jean Arp (1886–1966)
William Blake (1757–1827)
Herri met de Bles (c. 1510–after 1550)
Michaël Borremans (b. 1963)
Contemporary follower of Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450–1516)
School of Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450–1516)
Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010)
Victor Brauner (1903–1966)
Jan Brueghel the Younger (1601–1678)
Damiano Cappelli (d. 1688)
Leonora Carrington (1917–2011)
Giorgio de Chirico (1888–1978)
Joseph Cornell (1903–1972)
Piero di Cosimo (1462–1522)
Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553)
Salvador Dalí (1904–1989)
Gustave Doré (1832–1883)
Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968)
Alart du Hameel (c. 1449–before 1507)
Marcel Dzama (b. 1974)
James Ensor (1860–1949)
Max Ernst (1891–1976)
Leonor Fini (1907–1996)
Louis Finson (1580–1617)
Llyn Foulkes (b. 1934)
Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966)
Robert Gober (b. 1954)
Francisco de Goya (1746–1828)
Grand-Ducal workshops, Florence (c. 1625)
Attributed to Jean-Jacques Grandville (1803–1847)
Victor Hugo (1802–1885)
Richard Humphry (b. 1942)
Fernand Khnopff (1858–1921)
Paul Klee (1879–1940)
Alfred Kubin (1877–1959)
Sherrie Levine (b. 1947)
René Magritte (1898–1967)
Kerry James Marshall (b. 1955)
André Masson (1896–1987)
Roberto Matta (1911–2002)
Gustave Moreau (1826–1898)
Edvard Munch (1863–1944)
Filippo Napoletano (c. 1587–after 1629)
Pietro Novelli, known as Il Monrealese (1603–1647)
Raymond Pettibon (b. 1957)
Francis Picabia (1879–1953)
Pablo Picasso (1881–1973)
Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778)
Sigmar Polke (1941–2010)
Wallace Putnam (1899–1989)
Workshop of Severo da Ravenna (1496–before 1543)
Man Ray (1890–1976)
Odilon Redon (1840–1916)
Salvator Rosa (1615–1673)
Ed Ruscha (b. 1937)
Kay Sage (1898–1963)
Maurice Sand (1823–1889)
Martin Schongauer
(between 1435/1450–1491)
Kurt Seligmann (1900–1962)
José Gutiérrez Solana (1886–1945)
Léon Spilliaert (1881–1946)
Yves Tanguy (1900–1955)
Antoni Tàpies (1923–2012)
Luc Tuymans (b. 1958)
Tiziano Vecelli, known as Titian (c. 1485/1490–1576)
James Ward (1769–1859)
Lisa Yuskavage (b. 1962)

For all press inquiries, contact
Ashley Tickle +1 212 727 2070 atickle@davidzwirner.com
Natalie Miller +1 212 727 2070 nmiller@davidzwirner.com

To RSVP for the September 12 press preview, contact
Natalie Miller +1 212 727 2070 nmiller@davidzwirner.com

To RSVP for the October 27 event, contact
Sara Land +1 212 772 9100 sara@nicholashjhall.com

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