Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table


Leave everything. Leave Dad. Leave your wife. Leave your mistress. Leave your hopes and fears. Leave your children in the woods. Leave the substance for the shadow. Leave your easy life, leave what you are given for the future. Set off on the roads.

—Andre Breton

A comprehensive survey exploring the Surrealist revolution of thought and the role chance and choice played in the evolution of the avant-garde.

Press release

Weinstein Gallery is pleased to announce CHANCE MEETING ON  A  DISSECTING TABLE, a new exhibition of Surrealist paintings and objects,  beginning  April  28  and  running through May 28, 2016. This comprehensive  survey  explores  the Surrealist revolution of thought and the role chance and choice played in the evolution of the avant- garde. The exhibition features original paintings, drawings and objects by Victor Brauner, Leonora Carrington, Salvador Dali, Oscar Dominguez, Enrico Donati, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Jimmy Ernst, Leonor Fini, David Hare, Marcel  Jean,  Esteban  Frances, Frida Kahlo, Gerome  Kamrowski,  Andre  Masson,  Roberto  Matta,  Gordon Onslow Ford, Wolfgang Paalen, Kay Sage, Kurt Seligmann, Dorthea Tanning, and Yves Tanguy.


The exhibition title, CHANCE MEETING  ON  A  DISSECTING  TABLE,  refers  to  the  famous depiction of the French writer Comte de  Lautéamont  (Isidore  Ducasse)  in  his  novel  Les Chants de Maldoror, in which the author describes a young boy as “beautiful as  the chance meeting on a dissecting-table of a sewing-machine and an umbrella.” André Breton, the leader of the Surrealists, considered this famous description to be the perfect embodiment of Surrealist thinking and the Surrealist painter Max Ernst described  the passage  as  a metaphor for one of the most important aesthetics in Surrealist art: "A linking of two realities that by all appearances have nothing to link them, in a setting that by all appearances does not fit them.” This exhibition uses Lauteamont's evocation as a jumping off point to examine those "unlikely linkings" and the influences and innovations created by the Surrealists over four decades.


Said Rowland Weinstein, “Surrealist thought and ideals would go on to influence every modern art movement that followed from Abstract Expressionism to Conceptualism. Today it permeates many of the disciplines of Contemporary art including installations, performance, video art or assemblege. As the art world continues to push the boundaries, we believe it is important to revisit the Surrealist's influence and legacy as the artistic and thought pioneers they were."


Listings Information:

CHANCE MEETING ON A DISSECTING TABLE runs April 28 – Jun 30, 2016 at Weinstein Gallery (444 Clementina Street, San  Francisco).  Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10AM-6PM. Sunday & Monday by appointment only.