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Vance Kirkland

Surrealism (1939–1954):

For this period, Kirkland primarily used his watercolor expertise but he also used other water-based paints of gouache, casein and egg tempera, as well as some oil. While hiking in the Rocky Mountains, Kirkland began imagining gigantic deadwood worlds, where the deadwood becomes creatures and tiny humans can sometimes be seen among the vegetation. During this time, he was carried by the prestigious New York gallery, Knoedler & Company (1946–1957), where he received three one-person shows (1946, 1948, 1952), a co-show with Max Ernst (1950), and a co-show with Bernard Buffet (1952). Kirkland was included in the seminal exhibition Abstract and Surrealist American Art at The Art Institute of Chicago, given November 6, 1947 to January 11, 1948, with a 1945 surrealist watercolor, Five Million Years Ago.