“The exquisite corpse shall drink the new wine.”
This was the phrase that was produced when the Surrealists first sat down to play the game that was to later be christened Exquisite Corpse. It was one of those happy accidents so beloved of the Surrealists and seemingly dictated by the collective unconscious mind ready to reclaim its rights.
The most celebrated of Surrealists techniques, it tied in nicely with several key tenets of Surrealism; namely artistic collaboration and the belief that was first stated by Lautreamont that “Poetry should be made by all.” Originally played with words it soon become apparent that the technique could extend to drawing and collages. The examples from the Golden Age of Surrealism are numerous and feature some of the most illustrious names in 20th Century art and letters.
Below are some of the most notable Exquisite Corpses from that era. I have also included work from the YBA artists the Chapman Brothers who have produced a number of drawings using the technique.