UTA Artist Space is pleased to present Beyond the Looking Glass, a group exhibition of surrealist takes by women about women featuring works by gallery represented artists M. Florine Démosthène and Shannon T. Lewis. Beyond the Looking Glass is curated by gallery director Zuzanna Ciolek, one of the first members of the UTA Fine Arts team when it was established in 2015.
“While organizing this exhibition, I enjoyed poking holes in traditional standards of beauty in art and pop culture,” said exhibition curator and UTA Artist Space director Zuzanna Ciolek. “And within that playful and provocative framework, the show aims to explore contemporary femininity and representation.”
Beyond the Looking Glass presents a new lens for representation through surreal and uncanny artworks that address sexuality, race, and identity— radically defying solely ornamental representation. Taking inspiration from Alice in Wonderland, the title Beyond the Looking Glass is a twist on Through the Looking Glass, moving beyond a world where women are being seen as purely ornamental. The exhibition pulls viewers into an unexpected world filled with surrealist characters such as an elephant girl, a pink “C-section” vessel equipped with breasts, and a woman riding a reptile. While disrupting traditional portraiture of the Western Canon and confronting stereotypical representations of women, the figures portrayed transcend these societal constraints. With these archaic indicators of femininity stripped away, the surreal and expressionist imagery allows her to break out, expanding beyond the body.