Archive for surrealism

Happy Birthday Marcel Duchamp! Better Late than Never…

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY, ARTISTS BIRTHDAYS with tags , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2009 by echostains

Duchamp 'Fountain'

Duchamp 'Fountain'

Yesterday was the birthday of French artist Marcel Duchamp (b.1887 – 1968).  He is said to be the inventer of conceptual art.  When he submitted ‘Fountain‘, a urinal to The Society of Independent Artist in 1917 signing it R. Mutt and displaying it as art, this had an immediate effect…. and art was never the same again.

nude descending from a staircase  No. 2 duchamp

nude descending from a staircase No. 2 duchamp

He  was a Surrealist and also a Dadaist (I shall be writing about them soon).  He like to challenge art establishments and the way that art was percieved.  One of his earlier works ‘Nude descending a staircase No. 2’ shows the artist’s interest with the  mechanism of movement. This is a hybrid  of Cubism and Futurism.  He created controversy when he exhibited this at the 1913 Armory show.

Duchamp large glass Bride stripped bare by her batchelors

Duchamp large glass Bride stripped bare by her batchelors

Another of Duchamp’s works, ‘The Bride Stripped Bare by her Batchelors’  is a very complicated peiece of work (better explained HERE).  His  ‘readymades’ as he called them, consisted of found objects which he would cobble together and sign: an extreme form of  minimalism.  Andre Breton defined the ‘readymade’ as;

“an ordinary object elevated to the dignity of a work of art by the mere choice of an artist.”

Duchamp didn’t produce many works, but is still a very interesting artist who made important contributions to art and especially the way in which art is percieved.

Here is a list of links to post I have made so far concerning artist’s birthday.  I have tried to make it a rule that I actually LIKE the artists’ work!   Some artists I do like, I have not included so far, as their birthdays have clashed with something else I was writing about. Some birthdays I have only found out about when it was too late to include them , I mean to rectify this at a later date.

Rubens

Gauguin

Dali

Leonardo da Vinci

Hart Benton

Turner

Van Gogh

Morris

Pollock

Chagall

Kahlo

Modigliani

Degas

Hopper

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‘Happy Birthday Dear Dali!’

Posted in ART with tags , , on May 11, 2009 by echostains

Dapper Dali!

Dapper Dali!

It’s legendary artist Salvador Dali’s birthday today!  He would have celebrated his 105th birthday (and been in the Guinness Book of Records) is he’d have lived!  He died in Figueres Spain (his birthplace) of heart failure in 1989, aged 84.

Salvador Dali MetamorphosisOf Narcissus.  Dali's paintings are full of Freudian symbolism

Salvador Dali MetamorphosisOf Narcissus. Dali's paintings are full of Freudian symbolism

He is in my opinion the  personification of a painter: talented, original and as mad as a hatter lol!  We went to the Dali Universe in London a few years ago. 

Salvador Dali Mae West sofa

There's something fishy going on with this lobster telephone

There's something fishy going on with this lobster telephone

 Apart from the easily recognised Dali sculptures (lobster telephones etc), the best bit was Dali’s actual drawings and illustrations: absolutely  exquisite pieces of work and lots of them.  Each one a marvel and absolute delight to gaze upon.  Dali was an excellent draughtsman and his sculptures are well…surreal like the man himself!

Facts about Dali here

Here is a list of links to post I have made so far concerning artist’s birthday.  I have tried to make it a rule that I actually LIKE the artists’ work!   Some artists I do like, I have not included so far, as their birthdays have clashed with something else I was writing about. Some birthdays I have only found out about when it was too late to include them , I mean to rectify this at a later date.

Dali Soft construction with boiled beens

More of my posts that feature Surrealism;-

‘Sleight of Mind  and Psychic Art’

And what about the Women Surrealists?  Read my review of the ‘Angels of Anarchy’ exhibition HERE

Fellow Surrealist Marcel Duchamp HERE and Photographer Man Ray HERE

The Latest artist’s birthday  is Pable Picasso

Rubens

Gauguin

Leonardo da Vinci

Hart Benton

Turner

Van Gogh

Morris

Pollock

Chagall

Kahlo

Modigliani

Degas

Hopper

Duchamp

Hogarth

Beardsley

Munch

Hepworth

The Bride keeps her Clothes on after all these years

Posted in ART with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2009 by echostains

I found this writing I did a few years ago when I was in my Foundation years at Uni.

‘Art and the Subconscious’

“The French writer Andre Breton wrote his first Manifesto in 1924.  Its main objective being to ‘express verbally or by other means the actual functioning of thought – in the absense of any control exercised by reason’.  One of the first artists to be inspired by this and take it as a direction, was Max Ernst.  He had been impressed by Freud’s ‘Leonardo’ essay, where the artist commented on ‘the beauty of spots on the wall’, remarking that ‘if one looks carefully enough, you will make some wonderful discoveries’.  Ernst tried this by placing a piece of paper on his floorboards and rubbing a black pencil over it and thereby producing a ‘frottage’.  He was surprised and amazed by the sudden increase to his visionary faculties and by the contradictory and super imposed images that emerged…………..”

As you can imagine I couldn’t wait to try this out and made loads of these frottages, non of which have survived.  Max Ernst was a favorite artist of mine and one of my favorites paintings that I was actually lucky enough to see in the flesh (Surrealism – Desire Unbound) at the Tate in 2002.  It didn’t disappoint.  This is what I wrote about the painting  (before I knew any of the political implications) : –

ernst The robing of the Bride 1940

 

 

 

“One of my favorite paintings has always been ‘The Robing of the Bride’  (1940) by Max Ernst.  Looking at this painting always produces a sort of primitive response.  This image was on the first poster I ever bought for my first flat.  I never get bored with looking at this image, I find it intriguing, full of symbolism that I don’t fully understand, yet somehow feel familiar with.

This painting echoes something within me that I have nearly forgotten, yet know sense to be still there, though I am unable to quite bring it to the surface.  The effect this painting has on me today  is the same as the first time I saw it.  The secretive Owl like head dress: the small face wedged on top of the breasts: the dark deformed creature crying on the chessboard floor: the texture of the painting (I know now to be ‘Decalcomania’).  I find these images particularly intriguing.  A metamorphosis is going on that sustains my interest on a deeper level each and it happens every time I look at this painting.”

europe_after_rain-1942-decalcomania

europe_after_rain-1942-decalcomania

 One of the interpretations of this painting is the dangers involved in a marriage of the ‘French bride’  to the ‘German Barbarian’.  This is one of the given interpretations.  Ernst was politically conscious, but his oeuvre was the subconscious and the means of reaching it.  So perhaps this political statement was not his sole intention.  I would like to think that Ernst would not be too bothered whether his painting was appreciated as a political statement or whether it be enjoyed on a surreal level.  I am resolved not to resolve the enigma of this painting.

Altered book page 10 Freefalling Snake in the Grass

Posted in ART, MY ALTERED ART BOOK PAGES with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2008 by echostains
page-10-Altered art bookpage-10-Altered art book

Continuing over from page 9 with the pink pearlised ink, the words: –

Booby trapped

shows a drawing of a foot treading unwaringly on a hidden bomb.  Life is a time bomb really if you think about it; ready to go off at any moment.  Then it’s all over: that’s it really.  Booby traps: a game of Snakes and Ladders.

p10-detail
p10-detail

Talk in a whisper Green Grass’

The snake whispers this (well hisses it), makes me think of the words ‘Why do you whisper green grass?’  This is a VERY ancient song, even more ancient than me!  It is by the Inkspots and called ‘Whispering’ Grass’‘Why do you whisper green grass? why tell the trees what aint so’.  From this you can see the way my mind is working, and the word and image association (whispering grass – snake in the grass)

p10 detail-b

p10 detail-b

The whispering grass is associated with the Inkspots.  Inkspots and inkblots are used in psychology tests called Rorschach tests; the blot suggesting pictorial matter, depending on the frame of mind or temperament of the patient.  They are used by Forensics and for character assessment.

inkblot

inkblot

Life is a game of chance, and depending on how you look at it and how you deal with it, or interpret it, you will bear the consequences.  Sometimes it seems that you don’t even have to ‘do’ anything for things to ‘happen’ to you: there is usually something going on behind the scenes though; a chain of events etc.

watcher

watcher

In the third part of the actual Echostains Project the communication took the form of a visual narrative and auto suggestion.  I did a series of inkblots: spilling various inks onto paper and manipulating the streams of ink, using salt to impede the flow.  Watcher  and ‘Meeting Place’ were made with black and white ink  on canvas.

meeting-place-landscape

meeting-place-landscape

There is a lot of control versus chance in my work, which stems from my interest in Surrealism and the sub conscious.  I tend to use the sub conscious as a tool for ideas.  ‘House on the Borderland’ is a book by William Hope Hodgson.  The colours (ink) I have used, express the eerie feeling experienced reading the book.  My attempt to express a feeling in colour.

house-on-the-borderland

house-on-the-borderland

1066 uses abstract markings to express movement.  The colours are an interpretation of colours used in the  Bayeux Tapestry and so suggested the title 1066 (Battle of Hastings)

1066

1066

Pages 9 and 10

page-9-and-10-

page-9-and-10-

With many thanks to http://www.virtualshoemuseum.com/vsm/  a very interesting site – please check out!

Visit the Bayeux Tapestry, scene by scene

http://www.bayeuxtapestry.org.uk/

House on the Borderland

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/houseontheborderland.htm

Whispering grass

http://www.last.fm/music/The+Ink+Spots/_/Whispering+Grass

listen to it

Snakes and ladders history

http://sandradodd.com/game/snakesandladders

lots of variations here