A DANGEROUS WOMAN: SUBVERSION AND SURREALISM IN THE ART OF HONORÉ SHARRER is on display at the Columbus Museum of Art until Sunday May 21st. Click here for more info.
On Mother’s Day after brunch, we headed to the Museum Shop at the Columbus Museum of Art because the kids wanted to buy me a present of their own and I can usually find cool earrings, a necklace or other unique things I love in museum shops. Cameron asked whether I had seen the exhibits and I told him I had seen all but the main exhibit and we decided to go see A Dangerous Woman: Subversion and Surrealism in the Art of Honore Sharrer.
Good call. This is a must see exhibit, on view only through May 21!
This is the best curated exhibit I have seen at CMOA. None of us had ever even heard of Honore Sharrer prior to entering, and yet the exhibit provided everything we needed to understand and appreciate her art as a reaction to a world which tried, luckily unsuccessfully, to subjugate her.
I found her social, political and religious commentary to be deliciously biting! I had so many favorites that it’s hard to narrow the field but “Reception”, “Before the Divorce” and “Resurrection of the Waitress” are a few I recall in extreme, glorious detail. “Reception” was particularly subversive because Honore, who, together with her husband, had been forced to leave the United Stated States and live in Canada for a period due to their left-leaning politics during the Cold War years, places Senator Joseph McCarthy, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and Cardinal Francis Spellman at an opulent reception, all the while softening the effect by adding various birds throughout. “Who me? Be subversive? I’m just a housewife painting a party with beautiful birds.” Cameron found “Mother Goose”, her painting of three teenage boys so caught up in their posturing in the foreground that they completely miss a young, naked Mother Goose flying by in the background to be so dead on that he marveled at a woman’s ability to capture that feeling.
CMOA asks viewers why they think Honore Sharrer was considered such a dangerous woman. The exhibit’s notes throughout suggest that Sharrer’s art was thought-provoking and disruptive. Sharrer’s willingness to poke fun at, and even mock or deride, established institutions was challenging for Cold War society, and especially so coming from a woman.
If you can make it down to the CMOA by May 21st, you will not be sorry! Museum admission is free to members on Sundays. - Anne Marie