Joan Hall: “Apparitions”

By Margaret Failoni

The discovery of the interpretation of dreams was perhaps the catalyst for the birth of surrealism. Both phenomena were born in Europe during the first half of the 20th century. Much of surrealism deals with the inner person, dreams, and man’s psyche.

Magritte and Delvaux, both Belgians, are perhaps the best known of the earlier surrealists. Exquisite surrealist interpretations by Max Ernst and Remedio Varos, to name a few, brought surrealism to Mexico in the ’30s, also very well-known and received. Thanks to the great American collector/art entrepreneur Peggy Guggenheim, Surrealism was introduced to the American public. It was much appreciated and collected, yet the genre never developed with artists from the US. Therefore, it is unusual and gratifying to discover the work of Joan Hall, an American artist best known for creative and educational use of surrealism in her work, almost totally developed in the difficult and fascinating medium of collage. It is no secret that surrealist works possess a large degree of educated sophistication and culture along with a well-traveled, well-read preparation in order to be successful. Hall’s oeuvre does not disappoint.

Her unique artistic training couples with her travels, visiting the world’s most renowned sites. Representing the United States Information Agency, the cultural arm of American Embassies, Hall has been invited not only to exhibit, but also to teach in many countries. Her work can be found in major museums throughout the world, including the recently reopened Whitney Museum of New York. Among her many travels, Hall discovered Mexico, its beaches, its major metropolises, and its charming colonial interior. Thanks to several years of visiting this country, she has created a body of work inspired by Mexico, partially shown earlier in San Miguel de Allende and now in Querétaro, the two cities which completely mesmerized the artist. “Parroquian Dreams” and “Apparitions” are the two bodies of works in this exhibition. Hall continues to travel throughout the country, and we look forward to seeing more of what Mexican culture has infused in her new work.


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