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Communicating Vessels: Ed Bisese, Elyse Harrison, Wayne Paige

Curated by Claudia Rousseau, PhD
January 25-March 15, 2020
Presented by the Alper Initiative for Washington Art

Elyse Harrison, My Desired Frequency, 2018.

Elyse Harrison, My Desired Frequency, 2018. Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 in. Courtesy of the artist.

Ed Bisese, Holding, 2018

Ed Bisese, Holding, 2018. Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 in. Courtesy of the artist.  

Wayne Paige, The Guardian, 2010

Wayne Paige, The Guardian, 2010. Ink on paper, 17 x 25 in. Courtesy of the artist.

The title of this exhibition is borrowed from that of a book written in 1932 by Surrealist poet André Breton (1896-1966), who in turn had borrowed it from a scientific experiment of the same name. The experiment shows that in two vessels joined by a tube, a gas or liquid passing from one to the other rises to the same level, whatever the shape of the vessel. For Breton, the phrase refers to the artist, whether literary or visual, whose work results from communication between the inner life of the mind, emotions and dreams, and the waking perception of the exterior world. The three artists in this exhibition all work from this premise, although with individual styles and imagery. While their work shows continuity with Surrealist ideas of the 1930s and 40s, it also relates to the Chicago Imagists of the 1960s and 70s, reflecting the prevalence of surrealist imagery in contemporary visual art.

A catalog with essay by curator Claudia Rousseau will be published in conjunction with this exhibition.