Tag Archives: Surrealism

#FineArtFriday: The Drunkard by Marc Chagall 1911

In this image, Marc Chagall manages to capture the determined self destruction of the addict. His colors are vivid, intense, and the images slightly shocking. The addict has lost his head.

About the Artist via Wikipedia Commons:

Marc Zakharovich Chagall was born Moishe Zakharovich Shagal  6 July [O.S. 24 June] 1887 – 28 March 1985). (He) was a Russian-French artist of Belarusian Jewish origin. An early modernist, he was associated with several major artistic styles and created works in virtually every artistic format, including painting, book illustrations, stained glass, stage sets, ceramic, tapestries and fine art prints.

Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as “the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century” (though Chagall saw his work as “not the dream of one people but of all humanity”). According to art historian Michael J. Lewis, Chagall was considered to be “the last survivor of the first generation of European modernists”.

Author Serena Davies writes that “By the time he died in France in 1985—the last surviving master of European modernism, outliving Joan Miró by two years—he had experienced at first hand the high hopes and crushing disappointments of the Russian revolution, and had witnessed the end of the Pale of Settlement, the near annihilation of European Jewry, and the obliteration of Vitebsk, his home town, where only 118 of a population of 240,000 survived the Second World War.”


Credits and Attributions:

Marc Chagall, 1911-12, The Drunkard (Le saoul), 1912, oil on canvas. 85 x 115 cm. Private collection Der Sturm, Volume 11, Number 3, 5 June 1920, p. 41 This image is in the public domain in the United States because it was first published outside the United States prior to January 1, 1924.

Wikipedia contributors, “Marc Chagall,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Marc_Chagall&oldid=903514404 (accessed July 12, 2019).

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#FineArtFriday: Peter Purves Smith: New York, 1936, and Rickett’s Point, 1937

Usually, in literature, surrealism is shown through the thought processes of the characters rather than in alterations of the environment. On the surface, you believe what they say they think, but their perception of the world is skewed toward a hallucinogenic feel.

In art, the surface, the visual layer is what it is all about. Everything is displayed for you to view and interpret as you will.

Sometimes surrealism asks you to think deeper. Other times, surrealism says “enjoy the moment.” In “New York” Peter Purves Smith asks you to think deeper about our mania for building densely and tall. Skyscrapers grow like weeds, springing from the earth like dandelions in the lawn. What other concepts does he ask us to consider?

Progress and impermanence. Beauty versus utilitarian requirements. He asks us to think deeply.

In Ricketts Point, he asks you to just enjoy a sunny day at the beach.


Credits and Attributions

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Peter Purves Smith – New York, 1936.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Peter_Purves_Smith_-_New_York,_1936.jpg&oldid=149235926 (accessed July 4, 2019).

Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Peter Purves Smith – Ricketts Point, 1937.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Peter_Purves_Smith_-_Ricketts_Point,_1937.jpg&oldid=296570789 (accessed July 4, 2019).

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