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Exilic Pleasures

Bringing a museum like feel to the gallery world of New York City’s Chelsea, the Leila Heller Gallery has partnered up with curator Rowland Weinstein, to bring back the advent of surrealism in a very specific context. Exilic Pleasures runs from April 27th to June 17th 2017.

Weinstein started as a collector. The very first work he bought was as a junior in college. It was a Salvador Dali Lithograph for USD 2,900 while he was working at a YMCA teaching preschool. “It was an act of complete and total insanity” he says. It was the start of his passion. Over the years, it has developed into a more focused collection of surrealism and abstraction works.
He is interested in the art movement that came to the United States in the 1930s, the influx of the surrealists to New York around the time of World War II. Weinstein notes that the creativity that comes from catastrophe is very often astounding and extremely creative.

One of his favorite pieces by Gordon Oslow Ford entitled “Horizon of the Mews” is one of the pieces that inaugurated Weinstein’s collection. He explains that the piece is important because this form of automatism in painting is called “Coulage” which means the brush doesn’t touch the canvas. It’s somehow painting through air.

Another Interesting work displayed was the “Armoire Anthropmorphe” (1939) by Argentinian artist Leonor Fin. It’s a strangely shaped piece of furniture that takes the form of two metamorphosed swan women who apparently portray Fin’s facial features. The artist often explores the theme of half human, half animal. It was made for a surrealist design show that she also organized in Paris.

Weinstein has something to say about each piece exhibited at the show and one could spend hours discussing all of their origins. His passion for purchasing, collecting and lending his pieces to museums stems from the idea that he doesn’t think he truly owns the pieces. They have been entrusted to him and he is merely extending their lives through his interest and investments.

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Yasmina was born in 1988 and grew up in Helsinki, Cannes and Beirut. She received her Bachelors degree in Fine arts from ALBA University Beirut (Academie Libanaise des Beaux-arts) in 2009 and an MFA in Digital Arts: Computer Animation from Pratt institute. She currently lives and works as a visual artist and free-lances as an “Imagineer” at Walt Disney Animation studios in Queens, New York.

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