Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Take Your Kids to the Art Museum!

Exhibit Features Artwork Inspired by the Surrealist Exquisite Corpse Game
Now Through July 9 at MOMA

She Could Hardly Wait. Steve Gianakos. 1996.
(c) 2012 Steve Gianakos
In a collaborative, chance-based drawing game known as the exquisite corpse, Surrealist artists subjected the human body to distortions and juxtapositions that resulted in fantastic composite figures. The "Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Disfiguration" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York considers how this and related practices—in which the body is dismembered or reassembled, swollen or multiplied, propped with prosthetics or fused with nature and the machine—have recurred in art throughout the 20th century and to the present day. On view are works by modern artists from Masson to MirĂ³ and contemporary ones from Robert Gober to Nicola Tyson. For more information, visit

Before You Go!
Share the history of the Exquisite Corpse art form with the young people in your life and have fun creating your own exquisite corpse artwork or story! For information and instructions, refer to the NCBLA's following articles:

"A Guide to Progressive Stories" by Mary Brigid Barrett

"The Progressive Stories Game" by Marilyn Ludolph
AND, be sure to read with your kids The Exquisite Corpse Adventure, a progressive story game played by 20 celebrated authors and illustrators as a collaboration between the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. 
The Exquisite Corpse Adventure is a buoyant, spontaneous experiment; a progressive story game just like the one many families play on road trips and at home when there is a power outage and kids play at camps and parties. It is a game in which one person begins a story, stops at a cliff-hanging moment, and the next person picks it up and continues until everyone in the group has the opportunity to contribute. And just as in those games, the contributors to The Exquisite Corpse Adventure invented characters that spontaneously erupted out of their imagination; plot lines that tumbled forth, some realized, some lost; and conflicts with no logical solution in sight.

The contributors to The Exquisite Corpse Adventure are some of the most gifted artists and storytellers in our nation: M.T. Anderson, Natalie Babbitt, Calef Brown, Susan Cooper, Kate Di Camillo, Timothy Basil Ering, Jack Gantos, Nikki Grimes, Shannon Hale, Lemony Snicket, Steven Kellogg, Gregory Maguire, Megan McDonald, Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, Linda Sue Park, Katherine Paterson, James Ransome, Jon Scieszka, and Chris Van Dusen.

Published by Candlewick Press in August 2011, The Exquisite Corpse Adventure is available in paperback and hardcover. It is also available on audio. Ask for it at a library and bookstore near you!