Posts Tagged ‘ Grotesque

Grotesque Surrealism

This is the very ecstasy of love,
Whose violent property fordoes itself.
– William Shakespeare

It is impossible to overlook the extent to which
civilization is built upon a renunciation of instinct.
– Sigmund Freud

Welcome on this page for a moment.
I will present in front of you The Grotesque Surrealism and Andre Masson’s paintings.
Glad I have the definition here, to observe first its meaning, I will put in front of you some of his works and then I will talk about them.
The definition of grotesque it says: adjective
odd or unnatural in shape, appearance, or character; fantastically ugly or absurd; bizarre.
fantastic in the shaping and combination of forms, as in decorative work combining incongruous human and animal figures with scrolls, foliage, etc.

Now you want to see his paintings, right?
Ok… there you go!

source: and galleries.

About personal details and more :

At first his drawings were automatic – didn’t think of what will happen’ in his canvas-story-.
Since he was in World War I he changed his vision into a more brutal vision, more towards to a grotesque violence and strange symbolism – piano bull that violates a girl, people full of vivid expressions of the variability of feelings (from fear to envy), bulls ( which for me would be the dead men in the war or fears) who stepped women and children standing – it ranks, from my point of view, Masson’s works in Grotesque Surrealism.



Masson had wide-ranging fascination and interest in all things throughout his life. Sigmund Freud’s essay of 1906, “Delusions and Dreams in Jensen’s Gradiva,” translated into French in 1931, impressed the Surrealists more forcefully than his other writings. It was an analysis of a novel about an archeologist so devoted to his profession that he had no place in his life for women. He visited Pompeii where he met “Gradiva,” who turned out to be a childhood friend who, in love with him, conformed to his delusions in order to cure him. Freud refers to this revelation and final salvation as the “medication of love.” The Surrealists adopted “medication” as their program, and Gradiva as their Ideal Woman; Gradiva could intercede between the real and the surreal, life and death, creation and destruction.

In his artistic work ‘ Gradiva ‘ he makes an over-connection between the ancient Aztec culture and what he read in Freud’s books.
It’s a foot out erect on a pedestal, pieces of breasts, a cloak covering his twisted and spasmodic body.
Anyhow, Masson has some repetitive works full of diverse elements:

  • the bull – which I had de-symbolized -,
  • plant debris – a forest or just a small remaining hope of humanity -,
  • contorted bodies,
  • Sickness,
  • white horses – those who fight with bulls, that can be a symbol of the struggle of good and evil, to the light found through darkness full of fear,a madness fear that is paralyzing ( that body above the symbolic animals),
  • fish shore who wants to enter the water smothers,
  • a cubist landscape – all these make it a strong background of but obscure mind and strong hit soul in the war.

There are sinuous lines, mostly feminine – rounded curves – which may form mythological figures, perhaps symbols of his mind – his life is known as disorganized, as forcing himself to paint after standing several hours awake or drugged – that covering his visions.
Because of his macabre works, full of darkness and violent symbolism, I’ve framed his works to the Grotesque Surrealism.