The idea of the “exquisite corpse,” a blind collaboration between artists, has roots among the early-twentieth-century surrealists: folks like Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp and Yves Tanguy, who would each contribute a portion of a drawing in the hidden panels of a folded piece of paper. The whole of their efforts was an image stitched together by accident, sometimes hilariously, sometimes artfully.
Inspired by its surrealist beginnings, Rebecca Peebles and Danette Montoya of GroundSwell Gallery took the age-old game and engaged the help of 44 Denver artists, who collaborated on exquisite-corpse works by mail with artists from across the street and around the globe.
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As Peeble notes of the resulting show, Exquisite Corpse: Stamped and Mailed, "There's something risky and challenging about it -- the alchemy of two artists working blind on the same piece. It requires a certain relationship or willingness to have that relationship and collaborate on a work." And because the finished works are something of a secret, tonight's unveiling promises to be both revelatory and mysterious, even for the participating artists. This is Groundswell's second exquisite corpse show, and Peebles hopes it will become an annual tradition, using a different variation on the theme each year.
Exquisite Corpse opens tonight with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. and runs through August 6 at Groundswell, 3121 East Colfax Avenue; find more information at groundswell.com.
Sat., July 13, 7-10 p.m.; July 13-Aug. 6, 2013