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Surrealism , livre ebook


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256 pages
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Surrealists appeared in the aftermath of World War I with a bang: revolution of thought, creativity, and the wish to break away from the past and all that was left in ruins.This refusal to integrate into the bourgeois society was also a leitmotiv of Dada artists, and André Breton asserted that Dada does not produce perspective. Surrealism emerged amidst such feeling. Surrealists and Dada artists often changed from one movement to another.They were united by their superior intellectualism and the common goal to break free from the norm. Describing the Surrealists with their aversive resistance to the system, the author brings a new approach which strives to be relative and truthful. Provocation and cultural revolution: aren’t Surrealists after all just a direct product of creative individualism in this unsettled period?



Publié par
Date de parution 08 mai 2012
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781780428734
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 68 Mo

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SURREALISM u GenesisofaRevolution
Nathalia Brodskaïa
Author: Nathalia Brodskaïa
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All rights reserved No part of this publication may be reproduced or adapted without the permission of the copyright holder, throughout the world. Unless otherwise specified, copyrights on the works reproduced lie with the respective photographers. Despite intensive research, it has not always been possible to establish copyright ownership. Where this is the case we would appreciate notification.
ISBN: 9781780428734
Nathalia Brodskaïa
SURREALISM Genesis of a Revolution
The history of Surrealism maintains a beautiful legend. After a long voyage, a sailor returned to Paris. His name was Yves Tanguy. As he was riding in a bus along the Rue La Boétie, he saw a picture in the window of one of the numerous art galleries. It depicted a nude male torso against the background of a dark, phantasmal city. On a table lays a book, but the man is not looking at it. His eyes are closed. Yves Tanguy jumped out of the bus while it was still in motion and went up to the window to examine the strange picture. It was called The Child’s Brain, and was painted by the Italian Giorgio de Chirico. The encounter with the picture determined the sailor’s fate. Tanguy stayed on shore for good and became an artist, although until then he had never held either a pencil or a paintbrush in his hands. This story took place in 1923, a year before the poet and psychiatrist André Breton published the Surrealist Manifestoin Paris. Like any legend, it does not claim to be exact in its details. One thing cannot be doubted: Giorgio de Chirico’s painting produced such an unforgettable impression that it became one of the sources of the art of Surrealism as it began to develop after the First World War.The Child’s Brain had a wonderful effect on someone else besides Yves Tanguy. “Riding along the Rue La Boétie in a bus past the window of the old Paul Guillaume Gallery, where it was on display, I stood up like a jackinthe box so I could get off and examine it close up”, André Breton later recalled. “For a long time I could not stop thinking about it and from then on I did not have any peace until I was able to acquire it. Some years later, on the occasion of a general exhibition of de Chirico [paintings], this painting returned from my home to where it had been before (the window of Paul Guillaume), and someone else who was going that way on the bus gave himself up to exactly the same impulse, which is exactly the reaction it still provokes in me all this time after our first encounter, now that I have it again on my wall. The man 1 was Yves Tanguy.” The consistency and details of the events are not as important as the basic fact that de Chirico’s pictures had an unusual effect on the future Surrealists. The artists themselves guessed at its reasons. However, explanation became possible only with the passage of time, once the painting of European Surrealists had become an artistic legacy, and when the time arrived to render an account of it and interpret its language. The closed eyes of de Chirico’s figure were associated with the call of the Romantics and Symbolists to see the world not with the physical but with the inner eye, and to rise above crude reality. At the same time, the artist depicted his figure with a prosaic naturalism. His typicallooking face, his protruding ears, fashionable moustache, and the sparse hairs on his chin, in combination with a body which is by no means unathletic but which has filled out a bit too much, are material and ordinary. The sense of mystery and abstraction from life that the painting carried within it is made frighteningly real by this contradiction. De Chirico’s metaphysical painting gave his contemporaries an example of the language of Surrealism. Later on, Salvador Dalí defined 2 it as “the fixation in trompe l’oeil of images in dreams” . Each of the Surrealists realised this principle in his own way; however, it is in this quality of their art, taken outside the bounds of realism, that Surrealism lies. Surrealism would never have occurred at any given moment had it not been for Giorgio de Chirico. Fate linked Giorgio de Chirico’s life to the places and the landscapes which fed his imagination. He was born in 1888 in Greece, where his father built railways. His birthplace was the town of Volo, the capital of Thessaly, from which, according to legend, the Argonauts had set out on their quest for the Golden Fleece. For the whole of his life Giorgio de Chirico retained the vivid impression of the Classical architecture of Athens.
Giorgio de Chirico, Premonitory Portrait of Guillaume Apollinaire, 1914. Oil and charcoal on canvas, 81.5 x 65 cm. Centre GeorgesPompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris.
Giorgio de Chirico, Spring in Turin, 1914. Oil on canvas. Private Collection.
“All the magnificent sights that I saw in Greece in my childhood (I have never seen such beautiful ones since) certainly impressed me deeply and remain firmly imprinted in my soul and in my mind”, he wrote in his 3 memoirs. There are recollections of Classical architecture and of the sculpture of ancient Greece in almost every one of his paintings. In Greece he received his first lessons in drawing and painting. At the age of twelve, de Chirico began to study at the Académie des BeauxArts in Athens. At the age of sixteen, after the death of his father, he left for Italy with his mother and brother. De Chirico then discovered the wonderful Italian cities in which the spirit of the Middle Ages still survived – Turin, Milan, Florence, Venice and Verona. Together with his memories of Greece, these cities lay at the basis of his own private world, the one that he created in his painting. The paintings of de Chirico’s youth, in his socalled “Arcade Period”, are fascinating because they possess a quality which avantgarde painting often lacked. De Chirico built the city of his dreams. A white city stood on the shore of a darkblue sea. Its straight streets were lined with arcades, as in Turin or Ferrara. The streets open out onto the area of a square, decorated with ancient sculpture. But this town was completely empty, uninhabited. Only occasionally could a man be seen in the perspective that was formed by a street; sometimes it is not even a man but only his shadow. In some places a cane that somebody had forgotten was still leaning against a wall. Sometimes a little girl ran about in the street, alone in the empty town. Any man might well have dreamed of such a strange town: it was marvellous. The stone of its buildings and the falling shadows were frighteningly real. And at the same time a secret lived there, a notion of the other world, at whose existence we can try to guess, but which only a select few are privileged to see. The Surrealist poet Paul Éluard devoted these lines to Giorgio de Chirico:
A wall announces another wall And the shadow protects me from my fearful shadow O tower of my love around my love All the walls were running white around my silence.
You, who were you protecting? Impervious and pure sky Trembling, you sheltered me. The light in relief Over the sky which is no longer the mirror of the sun The stars of the day among the green leaves
The memory of those who spoke without knowing Masters of my weakness and I am in their place With eyes of love their overfaithful hands 4 To depopulate a world of which I am absent.
Life gave Giorgio de Chirico another marvellous opportunity: he spent two years in Munich where he studied not only painting, but also classical German philosophy. “In order to have original, extraordinary, perhaps immortal ideas”, wrote Schopenhauer, “it is enough to isolate oneself so completely from the world and from things for a few moments that the most ordinary objects and events should appear to us as 5 completely new and unknown, thereby revealing their true essence.” In Munich he saw a kind of painting which awakened the craving for mystery that lay sleeping in his soul – he got to know [Arnold] Böklin. In 1911
Giorgio de Chirico arrived in Paris and settled in the Montparnasse district, on the Rue CampagnePremiere.
When his paintings appeared at the Salon d’automne, the Parisian artists saw the de Chirico who would later impress them with hisBrain of the Child, and who wrote: “What I hear is worth nothing, the only thing that 6 matters is what my eyes see when they are open, and even more when they are shut.” Giorgio de Chirico himself called his art “metaphysical”.
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