The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presented Surrealism and Us: Caribbean and African Diasporic Artists since 1940.


Organized by Curator María Elena Ortiz, this presentation will be on view at the Modern March 10 through July 28, 2024. The thematic exhibition is inspired by the history of Surrealism in the Caribbean with connections to notions of the Afrosurreal in the United States. With a global perspective, Surrealism and Us is the first intergenerational show dedicated to Caribbean and African diasporic art presented at the Modern.


“This project shows a rich history and creative networks that expand on mainstream Surrealism, enriching the canon with Black and Caribbean artists. Surrealism and Us is a provocation that questions, what if surrealist strategies first started in the Caribbean?” commented exhibition curator, María Elena Ortiz.  


Inspired by the essay “1943: Surrealism and Us” by Suzanne Césaire, this exhibition presents over 50 works from the 1940s to the present day, in a wide range of media such as painting, sculpture, drawing, video, and installation. Centered on the intersection of Caribbean aesthetics, Afrosurrealism, and Afrofuturism, this exhibition explores how Caribbean and Black artists interpreted a modernist movement. Artworks, framed within a pre-existing history of Black resistance and creativity, illustrate how Caribbean and Black artists reinterpreted the European avant-garde for their own purposes.

Opening in 2024, the centennial anniversary of the publication of André Breton’s first Surrealist manifesto, the exhibition rethinks the history of modernism through the lens of Black and diasporic thinking, and in light of contemporary dialogues on Blackness and Caribbean art.

Selected artist list

Allora & Calzadilla, Benny Andrews, Belkis Ayón, Firelei Báez, Romare Bearden, José Bedia, Rigaud Benoit, April Bey, Henri-Robert Brésil, Agustín Cárdenas, Nick Cave, Aimé Césaire, Suzanne Césaire, Myrlande Constant, Eldzier Cortor, Luis Maisonet Crespo, Kim Dacres, Emory Douglas, Préfète Duffaut, Melvin Edwards, Tomás Esson, Minnie Evans, Celestin Faustin, Rafael Ferrer, Paul Gardère, Ja’Tovia Gary, Dalton Gata, Jacques-Enguérrand Gourgue, Stanley Greaves, David Hammons, Hugh Hayden, Hector Hyppolite, Arthur Jafa, Elliot and Erick Jiménez, Wifredo Lam, Simone Leigh, Georges Liautaud, Hew Locke, Che Lovelace, Joyce Mansour, Kerry James Marshall, Roberto Matta, Ana Mendieta, Rene Ménil, Toni Morrison, Wangechi Mutu, Lorraine O’Grady, Zak Ové, Salnave Philippe-Auguste, André Pierre, Naudline Pierre, Bony Ramirez, Kenny Rivero, Betye Saar, Kelly Sinnapah Mary, Hervé Télémaque, Jasmine Thomas-Girvan, Bob Thompson, Kara Walker, Alberta Whittle, Cossette Zeno, Frantz Zéphirin.

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