☕ NEW EXHIBITION: Finding Alice
When Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland came out in 1865, it was a blockbuster success and was widely credited with changing the landscape of children’s literature, adding nonsensical fun to what had been a genre obsessed with moralizing. Since its first publication, it has been translated into over 175 languages and continues to inspire artists from around the world to interpret Carroll’s story in their own visionary ways.
In its 1871 sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, November 4 is the date that Alice walked through the looking-glass and returned to the strange, magical world of Wonderland.
Our newest exhibition, Finding Alice: Artists Exploring Wonderland featuring Abelardo Morell, features works from two photographic series by the acclaimed artist Abelardo Morell, as well as several versions of the book to examine how different artists have illustrated the classic story. Artists include Andrea D’Aquino (American b. 1979), Salvador Dalí (Spanish 1904–1989), Camille Rose Garcia (American b. 1970), Yayoi Kusama (Japanese b. 1929), Oleg Lipchenko (Ukrainian/Canadian b. 1957), Peter Newell (American 1862–1924), and Evgeny Alexandrovich Shukaev (Russian 1932–1988) among others.
Of his initial Alice in Wonderland series, Morell says, “I designed my images to be situated within a landscape made of books because it struck me that Carroll had linked Wonderland to the idea of discovering imagination by digging deep into the pages of a book. At this time my daughter, Laura, was seven years old and these pictures felt in part to be tributes to her, who like Alice, was an equally brave girl in my life.” Later, his experience during the COVID-19 pandemic and sheltering in place “sent [him] down another, different sort of rabbit hole. Suddenly, Alice’s adventures seemed to have a lot in common with what was going on in the world—and within me.”
His Through the Looking-Glass series revolves around Alice stepping into a mirror, on the other side of which there is a topsy-turvy, unfamiliar, and illogical world. “What she encounters there seemed to me to have parallels to new realities in our present moment. Notably, however, in both her trips to Wonderland, Alice is resilient. She confronts the many disturbing things she encounters with determination and, in the end, she manages to adapt to her new situation. Alice’s rolling with the punches supplied me with an instructive guide to living in turbulent times. Brave Alice learns to deal with the irrational without ignoring it. She makes her own sense out of nonsense.”
Finding Alice: Artists Exploring Wonderland featuring Abelardo Morell is a wondrous collection of artists’ visual interpretations of Alice‘s adventures that will be of intergenerational interest to art and literature lovers as well as those intrigued with the wit and imagination of the stories.
Abelardo Morell (Cuban American, b. 1948), A Cat May Look At a King Said Alice from the series Alice in Wonderland, 2020; ink on aluminum, 22 1/2 x 18 inches; Edwynn Houk Gallery.; Abelardo Morell (Cuban American, b. 1948), Curioser and Curioser from the series Alice in Wonderland, 1998; ink on aluminum, 40 x 32 inches; Edwynn Houk Gallery.; Abelardo Morell (Cuban American, b. 1948), A Mad Tea Party from the series Alice in Wonderland, 1998; ink on aluminum, 22 1/2 x 18 inches; Edwynn Houk Gallery.; Abelardo Morell (Cuban American, b. 1948), Drink Me from the series Alice in Wonderland, 2020; ink on aluminum, 22 1/2 x 18 inches; Edwynn Houk Gallery.