Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Savage and Impenetrable


(click on an image to view larger)

The surrealist artist Max Ernst described the interlacing terror and enchantment evoked by the emblem of the forest as "savage and impenetrable, black and russet, extravagant, secular, swarming, diametrical, negligent, ferocious, fervent, and likable, without yesterday or tomorrow..." 
I saw this quote when visiting the exhibition "Surrealist Revolution" last week at the Vancouver Art Gallery. This exhibition really opened my mind to the incredibly ambitious reach of the Surrealists in terms of the topics of their investigations and the many approaches and media they used in fully exploring those topics. The most well known images by Dali and Magritte in many ways do a disservice to one's understanding of the Surrealists; this exhibition does much to correct that (and as my friend Jan said - it rehabilitated Dali for her). A number of Surrealists made photographic images;  I was particularly taken by a series entitled "La subversion des images" by Paul Nouge. I left the exhibit with a desire to learn much more about the Surrealists - I feel that I may find considerable inspiration in their very broad, comprehensive approaches to art. 

1 comment:

J. M. Golding said...

Now you have me curious about the Surrealists :-) I especially like the first two pictures. They both have a wonderful sense of softness and light, and at the same time, I'm intrigued by the way the second and third strike me as noticeably more abstract than the first. I feel as if I could just melt into the forest in the first one.