Posts Tagged ‘ Surrealism

the portraits of two worlds

Good day there!

Today I will talk about Picabia Francis.

Here are some of his paintings.

What can I say about his works/ world?
The figurative style of portraits in animal figures in the background, some cubist paintings, some abstract art works, some other tender nudes, all of them make a special art.
Even the ‘ Spanish Night ‘ is full of aesthetic balance: halves monochromatic, non – colour, the black man on a white background dance with a white woman on a black background, it highlights the duality – maybe – of their personalities.
The blue couple that reflects its environment in space that they are, show a different nature of his work: the delicacy of message lines, mirroring the life – maybe – he had.
Are some portraits in portraits, the human in the animal ones, the two worlds merging and meeting in his works.
‘ Adam and Eve ‘ are hidden by a dromedary camel, in an unknown place – although camels can be only in the East -.
In a place where there are elements of sacred and profane elements,Picabia combines them as if he is telling stories on canvas.
Are some paintings where are 4 characters – 1 young man looking at a girl sitting, then in the right himself back from what is happening and in the left is a profile just turned in the same right pose but looking down. There it can be seen the nude -what the young man sees, the 2 mature looking elsewhere and that women naked, with the legs wide opened. Maybe can the two faces: his astonishment when he was younger and first saw a naked woman and now, when it seems this gesture something that makes him look away from that memory.
But from what I see is the same woman and now she looked down.
In another picture is again a figure that looks at a domestic scene. Two children playing naked in the woods- who look like two cupids- who bring flowers to Aphrodite or she can be Diana with her helping characters of forests.
The forest is on a hill outside the city or other human presence. Except the outside portrait of the young man.
In another picture are two young people who look at a field with a lone tree. Their surprise is related to that particular silence, not to the leaf colours.
We see an enthusiastic man looking at a delicate female body, naked and full of round shapes, simplicity, lend a slightly eroticized atmosphere, tenderness like his fingers touched that young body that looks and as if it would fondle it with eyes.
Another painting of Picabia is the reverse: a young woman looking back slightly surprised and slightly excited when looking at the naked male body on a rock, in profile. As it would surprise in a cornfield or a space devoid of other human or animal presence.
The singularity of his paintings are is the portraits in portraits – in frame – took myself off thinking that Picabia could be one of Surreal Portretist – that specific air and those figurative situations -.
The two worlds are contrary: ONE with a lack of shame the other ashamed, one showing the youth another the adulthood, one of the sacred the second to the profane. Actually a desecration of sacred. And vice versa. To the intimate space to the general aspects of life and sacred world.

Organic Surrealism

In the second part of today, it will be the Organic Surrealism and Enrico Donati’s works.
First of all, he was the last one of the Surrealism member – Andre Breton accepted him in 1939-.
He was an Italian but moved in SUA in 1934.

Let’s see why organic, shall we?

In the dictionary
a : of, relating to, or arising in a bodily organ
b : affecting the structure of the organism

a (1) : of, relating to, or derived from living organisms (2) : of, relating to, yielding, or involving the use of food produced with the use of feed or fertilizer of plant or animal origin without employment of chemically formulated fertilizers, growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides
b (1) : of, relating to, or containing carbon compounds (2) : relating to, being, or dealt with by a branch of chemistry concerned with the carbon compounds of living beings and most other carbon compounds

a : forming an integral element of a whole : fundamental
b : having systematic coordination of parts : organized
c : having the characteristics of an organism : developing in the manner of a living plant or animal

Donati was interested in archeology and anthropology. Maybe that’s why … he combined them to … this!

sources: collections

In most of his work can be seen various organisms – from unity – that live in water or air and floating or simply step into the new dimension.
There are formations that remain at the stage of amoeba or simply they turn in others – a woman’s leg remains almost or completely disfigured, the body turns into another ‘ weapon’ – arms are some spindles-.
The colors are composed and decomposed in a room full of blue – and all its shades-.
Red is sometimes shy, but sometimes covers the whole space, very little appears the yellow.
The Donati’s world is organic because all his figures grow like plants or animals that ingest or are either predators or prey.
It’s like a battle of survival.
Not to say that since 1965 Donati has a perfume?
Try one! 😛

Here I will put in front of you the Donati’s interview from 6 September 1968.

Oral history interview with Enrico Donati, 1968 Sept. 9, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Interview with Enrico Donati
Conducted by Forest Selvig
In the artist’s studio in New York City
September 9, 1968


The following oral history transcript is the result of a tape-recorded interview with Enrico Donati on September 9, 1968. The interview was conducted in the artist’s studio in New York City by Forest Selvig for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.



FS: This is the first tape of an interview with Enrico Donati in his New York studio on Monday, the 9th of September, 1968. The interviewer is Forrest Selvig. We’re sitting in Mr. Donati’s studio overlooking Central Park. Now we can just converse as though this tape somehow doesn’t exist. Mr. Donati, you told me that you came here for the first time when you were 27.

ED: No. I came in 1934. I was 25. And I spent three months visiting the country, particularly I came because I was interested in Indian art. So when I landed in New York by boat naturally I went directly to New Mexico and Arizona. And I started to visit the different Indian villages and tried to get acquainted with their ways of living, their habits, their art, their tools. I spent about a month with them. And I collected already at that time . . . I exchanged all sorts of gadgets that I had brought from Europe to try to collect some Hopi Indian cachina dolls and other Indian objects.

FS: May I ask you, Mr. Donati, how is it that you who are a native of Milan would have this great interest in American Indian art?

ED: There is a museum in Milan . . . there is a Natural History Museum, not in the park but in the gardens of Milan near the Cosa Venezia and I used to visit it. There were a few examples there, but just examples, maybe 3 or 4 pieces of Indian art and masks and objects and maybe one or two Eskimo objects. Then I went to Paris and in the Trocadero — in the Musee de Trocadero — there was a larger collection of the same things. I was mostly interested in the idea behind the objects; why they made these masks and these cachina dolls; what they were used for. And then the idea of the painting on the wood, not only the carving but the painting on the wood and the painting on their masks, on the faces, and what it meant started to puzzle me. And I couldn’t find anything else in Europe with the exception of a number of books in Germany that had been published, but neither France nor Italy had anything published in Indian art. So it was — how would I say it? It was just a crazy interest of mine to get involved in Indian art. There were two things that I was mostly interested in: one was the Indian art and the other was Eskimo art. I tried during the three months’ period that I was in America for the first time in 1934 to cover this as much as I could. I traveled extensively. And I went up to Canada, to British Columbia, and up to Hudson Bay. I tried to find where Eskimo art was. I didn’t really find it personally but I found traces of it. And in Montreal I found collectors that had objects, particularly ivory objects and wooden masks that came mostly from the Baffin Islands. And I started to be apassionate of this type of art. First of all, being a youngster, I didn’t have the money to buy it. I only had to money to come and I had probably enough objects that I had brought along to exchange. So it was really a trade.

FS: I’m very curious about the particular appeal of North American Indian art to you other than, say, primitive art of other areas, African and so on. Why was it specifically North American Indian art or Eskimo?

ED: Well, for one thing, the North American cachina dolls are very highly painted and they’re very eloquent as objects and they’re very human. For me they were more human than the African masks or sculpture that were sad in a certain way. And being Italian and liking color, I found that the American art that was painted on wood had much more appeal than plain objects coming from Africa that normally were painted probably black and white or brown and white, or something, but not highly painted like the American Indian’s.

FS: I see. This is, of course, after you’d been at the Accademia? You were at the Accademia in Milan, weren’t you?

ED: I was not. I started with music. And I got a doctor’s degree in science at the University of Pavia to make the family happy. And that was about that. But particularly I wanted to be a musician, a composer. I started to work with 2 or 3 very famous teachers in Milan. One was Amfossi and the other one was Apiani, both from the Conservatory. I was fairly good at piano. But particularly I was interested in composing. Also, since I was born in 1909, during the period in which I started to become a man and understand about the facts of life, the Fascist regime was there and everything was guided in such a manner that even the most advanced composers were not recognized by the Italian regime. They were not allowed to be played. I’m talking now about composers like Prokofiev, Honegger, Francis Poulenc of France, and others that you probably know. At the same time as music was not allowed, let’s face it, surrealism that existed in France was not allowed in Italy and was not considered art. So in consequence, the more something is forbidden, the more you are attracted to it.

FS: Yes.

ED: So as a composer I wanted naturally to get involved in that type of music that was not allowed in Italy. So I was naturally thrown out by every music school because I was composing things that were probably considered as crazy as John Cage was considered crazy here 20 years ago and who is no longer considered crazy. You know what I mean. Like Varese. He composed all his life and he had little recognition at the end of his life. The same thing! So in consequence I was so antagonized by the music teachers as well as by my family that my mother ended up by selling the piano and not allowing me to work anymore. I kept on stubbornly working and I went abroad when I was 15 years old. I went to Germany. I went to England. I went to Czecho-Slovakia. I went all over Europe. So I was aware of what was happening outside. But then when I came back I didn’t have the opportunity to develop anything constructive because it was always taken apart. So in consequence I was a frustrated musician, I would say. And I was trying to create in music somehow what I tried to do later in painting — express my emotions and put them into sound. And, unfortunately, I was completely torn apart by the regime plus the family plus Italy at that time. So it was kind of an escape for me to go abroad. I went to the Germans and to the English and to the French to try to learn something and read into them. My first opportunity to come to America was ideal because I was getting out and breaking with what was a regime.

FS: Had you already decided then . . . were you already a painter when you came to America the first time?

ED: I was always interested in painting. I had several friends that were painters. I had gone to school and learned about painting and drawing but I had never taken it seriously. I took it seriously when I went back to France from America in 1934. I stayed in France for a few years, then came back here. I went up and down with America. But basically I took it up when I went back to France. In France I joined a group of friends, musicians and composers and we all had a studio in Montmartre, up on the ninth floor with no elevator, a walkup. And in this studio that was way up on the top of this building, the name of the type of floor is mansard, just smack under the roof. We had two little bitsy rooms there and we were, I think, nine artists working together.

FS: Who were the artists? Were they Italians or Americans?

ED: No, they were everybody. There was an Italian called Cesare Brero, a composer that was fairly successful. He went to South America afterwards.

[Telephone ringing — FS: “I’ll get it.” Tape runs silently for about 9 minutes]

ED: One of my teachers was Robert Hale who was teaching anatomy. I took a couple of years with him in anatomy. Then I wanted to learn about designing and I wanted to learn about script and lettering, and I worked with Trafton who was a very famous teacher at that time. He even invented the Trafton script. I wanted to experiment. I wanted to try different things. And I got involved in that.

FS: By this time you felt completely committed to the visual arts, I take it?

ED: Yes. Completely. I was involved not only a hundred percent but I’d even tried to get a job. First of all, I wasn’t ready to have a show yet. Secondly, I was in the process of thinking and trying to create an idea in my head and not just to paint a painting. I didn’t want to paint a painting. I wanted to paint an idea, to express an idea on canvas. I had to be ready physically to be able to paint anything so that I could paint an idea. So I went through the entire routine of school with Agars, is it, to be ready to express an idea on canvas. It took a long time before I was able to create an idea. It was a long struggle. And it was not only the technique that counted. It’s not really the painting per se that counted for me. It was what am I going to express on the canvas? What am I going to put on the canvas? I started to read a lot. I started to absorb a lot of what the Surrealists were doing. And I started to meet a few artists. And I started to, let’s say, develop a little library in my own head. It’s by the thinking more than the working that I started to build an idea. I came across some books in which the Legend of Mandragora was for me the opening of a new world. You probably know what it’s all about. Mandragora is a root . . .

FS: Mandrake root we call it.

ED: . . . that was found under the gallows nourished by the sperm of the hanged man. And this thought about the root that had a physical human connotation, let’s say, born by the sperm of the dying man was like a continuation of life in a different form. Right?

FS: Yes.

ED: So, in consequence, it started to build with me the idea of life and rebirth. On one side there’s the destruction of life and on the other side there’s rebirth in a different form. So this started to become my metaphor: the destruction and the rebirth. I started to build a world of Mandragora. Instead of being just a world of the Mandragora, the root of the legend, mine became a more universal Mandragora, by being in other forms that I could find, perhaps maybe animals had created another form of rebirth. You walk into the forest and you pick up a root of any kind, maybe it hasn’t got human features but maybe it has another type of features, maybe animal features. Maybe it’s a rebirth of another type of situation.

FS: Did this interest lead you to a study of the Hindu philosophies at all?

ED: The Hindu philosophy came so much later it isn’t even funny. No, I didn’t make any connection with it at all. I really studied the problem of the destruction and the rebirth. It has been a part of my life for maybe 20 years. It starts by, let’s say, the shell of an animal that is alive, and it dies and it petrifies, and then you find it in the form of a stone, fossil, and you break the stone and you find it’s alive again. It has a spirit that continues.

FS: Also, it seems to . . . it has a great similarity to the Christian doctrine about, you know, you have to be born again in the . . .

ED: It would be a rebirth.

FS: Rebirth! The old evil man dies and you are born again as the sinning man dies.

ED: Yes. So consequently, let’s say philosophically, my point of departure for creation of an idea was destruction and rebirth. And it was the Mandragora that started it all. I kept on working until I was successful in making a series of paintings that had the Mandragora as a world. At that time there . . . I don’t think you’re interested in knowing my historical background in my shows and what happened, but I’ll tell you an interesting moment of my life. Lionello Venturi, the famous art critic, came to one of my shows, to my first show to be more specific, and he said, “You must meet Andre Breton,” He sent me to Breton with a note saying, “I think this guy belongs more to you than to me,” because he was a specialist in Cezanne and the Impressionists. And I met Breton and I started to tell him all about what I was thinking. Then he came up to see some of my paintings and he was interested. He was convincing in the respect that he thought it was valid. I was uncertain of what I was doing. Let’s face it, I was much too young and I was not cocky enough to say this is it. He advised me to continue and to get involved more to really stay with it. I did stay with it for a number of years, and he made a preface later to my first show in a gallery. He liked my colors; he liked my blues. At that time I was doing a lot of paintings in blues. And he liked the idea of Mandragora. He liked the spirit back of it. I will say this, he was a wonderful pusher. He really pushed me to work and to produce. He came around — I don’t know — practically once or twice a week. And we used to have lunch together practically every day. Through him I started to meet the boys. I knew a few but I didn’t know them that well. I really started to get involved. I became a Surrealist with the Surrealist group for a number of years. And that was a fabulous experience because I don’t know if you realize what it was for a young kid to one day walk into a restaurant and see such a gentleman like him, lean and very — a man. He didn’t look like a genius, he just looked like a man. I was having luncheon with Matta and Max Ernst and Breton and the wife of Breton, at that time Jacqueline. And Breton jumped from his seat as if he had a spring under the seat and he went over to this man who was coming in to the restaurant. The restaurant was Larre here on West 56th Street. And he bowed in front of him like it was God appearing. That man was Marcel Duchamp. He had just arrived in America. And everybody went there and — it’s Marcel Duchamp. Naturally I found myself surrounded by a bunch of geniuses, a bunch of fellows who knew it all. Between them there were, let’s say, three young men, three kids; and the three naughty boys were at that time Matta, and another one with me was David Hare. David Hare at that time was a photographer; he was getting a little bit involved with sculpture. So we were the three young boys of the crowd, let’s say. All the others were masters. So you just shut up and sat down and let the boys talk and try to absorb as much as you could. I want to go back to one point now that I think is something that every student in the world should know now that I’m an old man because I will be sixty in four or five months, so I’m an old man. Now I can talk. And I’ve told this to every student in every class in which I was a speaker or lecturer or a visiting critic or God knows what. And when a kid asks me what should I do next? How can I develop my work? my first approach to him is this: do what I did and start to become the valet of a painter. You go in in the morning and clean up his brushes and wash his dishes and empty his garbage and just stay there and watch him work and try to absorb from the beginning to the end, and learn, and shut up, and sit down, and do nothing else. But just stay there with him and listen to him and discuss with him when he wants to open up his mouth. Otherwise you just shut up. But you watch and you see how he works and what he does and how he stretches his canvas, and what happens later. How he thinks and how he puts something on canvas and then he erases it, and then he starts again and then he destroys it. And what the processes of thinking are and what the processes of painting are. For me, if I had to start again, I’d start like that. And that’s what I did with Camillo Agars. That’s what I did with other artists with which I was just a servant. And there I learned more than going to school in any class, even of a genius. You wouldn’t learn a damn thing in school. You only learn with a guy sitting and living and eating and sleeping with him and absorbing. That’s the only way.

You can read more here:

His world is fluid. As it rises from the water, develops and dies still there. As if the universe itself had taken part in an underwater world – that’s his theme, organic (as the Universe develops itself in water through a plant (Algae) or animal (all shapes and sizes!)-.
Even his stones are alive and the fossils come to life.
Everyone’s is alive into his paintings, full of liveliness.
Although it can be included in Abstract Expressionism Donati remains a Surreal. And for me, an Organic one.

If you want to read more :

Neo-romanticism Surrealism

Today will be Neo- Romanticism Surrealism.
Who is the painter?
Pavel Tchelitchew. Born in 1898, Tchelitchew lived outside Moscow until his family, dispossessed of its estate by the Bolsheviks, fled to Kiev. There, he studied briefly with the Constructivist Alexandra Exter before moving to Berlin (1921) and Paris (1923).

Why Neo- Romanticism?
In British art history, the term “neo-romanticism” applies to a loosely affiliated school of landscape painting that emerged around 1930 and continued until the early 1950s.
In Germany this term is used for an alternative label for the group of German composers identified with the short-lived Neue Einfachheit movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
But one thing is for sure: Neo-romanticism as well as Romanticism is considered in opposition to naturalism as a demanding a cultural reorientation responding to ‘the soul’s longing for a meaning and content in life” that might replace the fragments of modern knowledge with a holistic world view’.

source: galleries

What I can say about his work?

For general aspects, his works are anatomical evidence, we see enlarged feet – an allusion to wars, we need to keep our temper, to be down to earth and not idealistic or cruel -.
The colors, at a first glance, are most hot, hot, hot as an atmosphere of ‘love’, hateful or…why not? resentment.
It has seen a riot of colors: full of red, a few paintings somewhat balanced, then again some monogamous or simply… you can not tell exactly what he felt.
Again he was influenced by wars, but not so dramatic as the other.
I like his works – some of them – because they look like a calm scene, though their colors take you to revolt and hidden resentment, boiling and just so blown. Although they are on a beach or rocks… besides, his characters have expressive faces and their defects augmented.

Which is his notable painting?



This panorama of freaks, monsters and mutants, as the “Inferno” of his personal divine comedy.
He painted this work in New York from 1936 to 1938, and populated it with hundreds of characters from remote times and places, including many from his own biography.
From today’s perspective, “Phenomena” – with its hallucinogenic rainbow of colors, desolate urban background and the oversized appendages on many figures – seems to prophesy the nuclear holocaust.
In any event, it cemented Tchelitchew’s reputation as a major Surrealist painter.
This is a landscape populated by a cast of hundreds, including Hitler, Mussolini, Marlene Dietrich, Cecil Beaton, freaks galore, several Surrealists and last but not least the painter himself – the bottom left- .
With this image, which has echoes of Dali but has more in common with the political ”scenery” painted by Peter Blume, a contemporary who was also born in Russia, Tchelitchew plunges into Surrealism only to emerge a few years later with ”Hide-and-Seek,” a picture of children around a tree, which among other things, acts as an illustration of Ruskin’s views on the subject of paranoiac perception – the black spot reflected surrounded by little yellowish ans greenish spots (with black) -.

Hide and seek

Hide and seek

This is a children’s game in the tree that can be embodied in an apocalyptic vision of war – and that black tree can be the congealed blood of those who died in war-.

What is his perception about the world?
From children to the crazy personalities of history, from playful to war-to the madness hidden resentment -, from patriotism and selflessness in a selfish hatred towards the impossible, from a personal non-involvement of things seen / felt.

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.

Erotic Surrealism

Today it will be the Erotic Surrealism and Paul Delvaux.
His paintings have an simplistic and erotic energy. Even if there are several pictures with naked women, there is a symbolism in there too.
Let’s see first his works and …return!

The garden

The garden


The office of evening

The office of evening


source: and some collections

Paul Delvaux was a Surrealist from Belgium, but never an official member. His works are influenced by Rene Magritte and de Chirico.
Here is a dreamlike landscape, lots of nudes, into a Greek space – maybe, but only the atmosphere of Greece -.
Even if the situations there is Surrealist, the way is more Realist -of older Flemish artists like Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling-.
The women are like somnambulists, their appearance in the night are like falling angels.


Why erotic?
Because the women appears naked in almost all his paintings, as is shown the pubic area and the secondary sexual characters – pubic and axillary hairiness appearance, hair growth on the body (arms, legs, breast development, widening the hip, typical female fat distribution: especially in the hips, thighs and buttocks spread diffuse in subcutaneous adipose tissue (under the skin) in the whole body.

In this painting Delvaux depicts lots of characters: one man alone is mesmerized by a group of beached mermaids, women who don’t look into one point, they fixed already another center of the painting – each one is looking and thinking maybe.. or even sleep walking-.
The same space is not known, but look from Antic Rome or Greece, where the perspective is symmetric and it’s a poetic shock here: in some way it’s an allegory of the past and present – his present- from Antic to Contemporan times. The man who has an allure a la Magritte – his present- to the buildings surrounding the center.
He puts aside heterogeneous elements – the image of the same women appears repetitive, with the same high and expressions (face, hands, the tilt head is the same, though studied, the hands are kept just in the same position – application, acceptance and introduction – it looks like they know that the world is watching them and they know it).
It’s like the theater world of sleepwalking.

Environmental Surrealism

For this part, I’ve thought at a more easier way shown by the Surrealists. For this it’s the Environmental Surrealism, by Paul Nash.

source: and art collections

If you want details about him:

Why environmental?
There is a clean, solar, another to the opposite, dirty, depressing, sickly, full of marshes and mud.
So I believe it’s not hard to understand why Environmental one.
Despite of the called Surrealists, Paul painted more his landscapes from his country.
Despite that I could put him at the Historical Surrealism – he depicted during the war, when he felt lucky that he’s alive -. After the war he was named the artist for that – his themes are related to that event, WWI -.
In his world are 2 kinds of paintings: lighted and warm, protective and full of hope and some of them are like a sticky mud, with your feet and hands,that covers you and you cannot breathe with that.
From sun and joy to broken tree stumps, shell-holes and mounds of earth.
From hope – even small- to non-recognition of balance, the ultimate tragic death and fears.
It is known that Nash had asthma and the fear of suffocation could occur at any time on the front – and beyond -. After the war, he will post -traumatic depression and diagnosis.
Because he depicts an anthropomorphic and the environment, his paintings are always confused – maybe – in other styles – Symbolism , Impressionism and Post – Impressionism -. But the forms are placed into a Surreal space, with space and another world. From the reality transposed into another – the war landscape or the surroundings depicted are made into another time -.
Are vast spaces in which there is a SPACE for everyone. Even on the front.

Moving Surrealism

Today it will be a full day.
I will try to show you the Moving Surrealism – Jules Perahim-.
Perahim ( ‘ flower’ ) / born Iuliș Blumenfeld ( ‘flowers field’) , was a jewish Romanian painter, who lived many years in Paris. Not so known as Victor Brauner, but his works are inevitably from a new world.
In 2014 were celebrated 100 years from Perahim’s birth.

As you can see, all Perahim’s figures – surreal / fantasy- are dancing, waltzes, walking, floating .
Are some certain repetitive ways: from right to left,the first step is right forward followed by the left one…
There are parts or strange combinations between the human and the animal world, a mixture of calm and violence, between possession and contentment, like those figures struggle between the acceptance and the rejection.

There appear fishes over the main body-running-, goats/whales/ dogs – all with tails or feet, hands, screws.
There are sexualized figure’s: breasts, ass.
The figures appear in a mythological world of its own.

The mechanisms are put inside the faces or bodies are dislocated or scattered into the painting – and the story -.
The unity is exposed to the story of how the figures are arranged, the center is not homogeneous, but he moves where the characters’s direction.
There are repetitive colours which are not bright and hot – they bring a theater atmosphere  by the neutral way of colouring the paintings.

the Material Surrealism

For this time I will need a little space. :)
Kay Sage made, after my point, Material Surrealism.
Just look there. Only sand, wood, concrete, silk, wood chips, glass and many materials.
Her post – apocalyptic visions are very powerful. The landscapes are so brutal as hell is on earth, stylized, with a surrealist message.
From there it beats a wind so stifling, so toxic, which already dissolved everything in its path.
Because Tanguy was her husband, she wasn’t appreciated at her times.
It’s a story there, that they fall in love through their works. :) That’s so romantic?
If at the Tanguy’s arts we saw no large objects, but only tiny, with reflections and shadows here we see at Kay that building are large, solitary, repetitive constructions, many buildings solid, a solitary feminine presence covered with silk or embalmed.
If at the Tanguy’s paintings we saw something like a pole supports something or a rotation or a float here are some figures that do not do anything that would soar to rotate. A world still. Shadowed by the absolute solitude.
We see an immaterial materialized .
We see a tangible full of hidden feelings.
It’s known that he loved enormous Tanguy – the proof being the suicide a few years after myocardial infarction of Tanguy’s-. The loneliness she translated into an apocalypse paintings, in his absence, she felt it as living an apocalypse without him – premonition or intuition !? -.
The materials can describe the solidity of the relationship: from silk or wood to concrete.
Are dilapidated or abandoned buildings or constructions of NON human being – regardless of the nature – it seems that there are masks to hide ultimately the human condition – the heart is hidden by reason.


This painting from 1956 – after 1 year since Tanguy’s death – shows perfectly what I’ve been told.

The Fragmentary Surrealism

The Human Condition

The Human Condition

Son of man

Son of man



The great war

The great war

source: different collections

Today I will talk about the Fragmentary Surrealism.
Who is the painter ?
Rene Magritte.
Why did I called like that?
From it’s definition ‘ fragmentary = consisting of or reduced to fragments; broken; disconnected; incomplete’ and in the same time to the paintings into another painting – so that the first painting stays again, incomplete- .
Because of the body fragments placed into his art works and the associations between botanic and anatomic.
In the same time the use of objects that hide what lies behind them.
The psychologist would call it ‚ fear to appear in public’ = agarophobia or something like that.
We don’t know what was into his heart – we see what was into his mind- .
Magritte said about his work:
In front of a window seen from inside a room, I placed a painting representing exactly that portion of the landscape covered by the painting. Thus, the tree in the picture hide the tree behind it, outside the room. For the spectator, it was both inside the room within the painting and outside in the real landscape.
Torczyner, Harry, Magritte: Ideas and Images. New York, 1977.

What about his notable paintings?
In ‘ The Human Condition’ he depicted a canvas in front of a high window depicting the tower of a close building and a street below. Why? To show 2 spaces in the same time? To fragment the first space and Show in the same time the second one?
Like a scenario. His is a scenarist.
Both are part of the same painting, the same artistic fabrication. It is perhaps to this repeating cycle, in which the viewer, even against his will, sees the one as real and the other as representation, that Magritte’s title makes reference.
It’s like a game with human mind: what you see in your brain it’s the same ?
On the canvas it’s a story – abstract or not – .. on the same canvas it’s a human condition – abstract or not!- so… Magritte tells us in a fragmentary way about this reality, the painting in painting way.
The easel holds an unframed painting of a landscape that seems in every detail contiguous with the landscape seen outside the window.
It’s what you have to accept that you see: a landscape. A fragment put on the canvas, from the unitary landscape from outside.
You got it!

THE SON OF MAN’ it’s very … different.
He depicted a man wearing a bowling hat, with a green apple covering his face.
The place of this fruit it’s unconventional. Why does he covers all man’s face?
Again I come and say it: fragments of the the body doesn’t exists?
Or … the indentity have not to be seen?
We don’t know : it is a self-portrait? Can be anyone hidden after that apple.
Why it’s the apple there? 😀 It’s a figure deformed? It’s something to not tell.
He deployed the real and recomposed . As in the modern poetry at that time.
Modernity and originality make them Magritte to be a kind of Surreal artist.
He uses a kind of violence – acts of soldering and desoldering – to reform a reality payment , lifeless , breathless , in which he indulge in the modern habit world.



In ‘ The great war’ it’s a woman with a face covered with flowers.
Again … why he wanted to hide the face?
It’s an emptiness here. It’s like no feeling. Not to show and not to discover.
We see fragments of bodies in other paintings.
For Magritte it doesn’t matter the emotional, just the vision. What you see? But what you feel?
It’s just a space fulled of impersonal acts.
It’s a fragmentary world with fragments of non-personal emotion and personal vision about the retinal message.


Because I adore this kind of art – you are not obliged, I know – I’ve decided to make a research about Surrealism.

3. PRIMITIVE – Cardoso
20. psychoanalytic – SALVADOR DALI

There were some subtypes:
1. metaphysical – DE CHIRICO
2. metaphorical- KUSH
4. Pop Art – FUCO UEDA
5. MAGICAL- JOAN MIRO, Claude Verlinde