Art, Fantastic, Surrealist,
|Discover the Fantastic Art
The objective of this text is to recognize the main themes in which shows itself the entrance of the unusual, the unrealistic, and to follow their progress since the first times until today.
Without that they are conscious of it, our contemporaries are probably also accessible to the fantastic as people of the naive times and of the dark centuries. Because the fantastic is quite at the same moment the durable and the perpetual change, what holds most strictly the roots of the human
thought and what reflects best the evolution and the transformations of this thought.
The theme of the forest and the plants which we find here, animals which we meet, is there present since the prehistory. Closer of us, it was represented by Albert Dürer and Albrecht Altdorfer, German painters of the beginning of the XVIth century. Rodolphe Bresdin and Gustave Doré, both French ( XIXth century ) immortalized it in their work.
In the unlimited realm of the unusual, all the meetings are possible because the faculties of the imagination are unlimited. Jérôme Bosch can then show the dimension of his creative genius. He is joined in this creativity by Tiepolo, Goya and a surprising Victor Hugo.
The death often met the painting, that this one is encouraged by the Christianity to represent the fleetingness of the life ( vanitas ) either that it shows it in spectacle ( dances and carnival ). Bruegel and Dali excelled at it. Japanese Hokusaï – the master of ghosts – was one of the painter of the next world.
Fantastic architectures, geometrical whims and weightlessness, bizzare cities, statues and restless characters either of a strange peace, curious meetings of beings or objects, or openly trompe-l'oeil, all this participates of a composition of the space, the movement, the perception and the feelings in margin, then – over time – next to a more academic expression. Of Antoine Caron ( France XVIth century ) until Paul Klee, Max Ernst, Edward Munch ( XXth century ), there is a lineage of artists, some only quoted here, a lineage of creators of an obligation for those who look at the works to fall and to interpret.
If it is a universal theme, it is the one of the Devil, spells and demons. Universal theme in the time and the space : that is shown in the deaths ' Book ( Egypt ), the Pazuzu and Lamasthu ( Mesopotamia ), Etruscans' Tukulka and Charum, the temptation of Mara in the Buddhism and demonic representations inspired by the Christianity, in the paintings of Jérôme Bosch, John Martin ( England, in the beginning of the XIXth century ), Goya, Dali. The transformations are a multisecular technique of the fantastic art. They consist in imitating the alive faces and in giving the movement to them. Since the Colossus of Rhodes to Salvador Dali, we find these transformations, just like in Arcimboldo 's works – the famous characters made by fruits, animals, vegetables, rocks – and in those of Léonard de Vinci.
Next to the fantasy which transposes or inverts the forms of the known world, it exists there an other resourfulnesses of which are infinitely vaster : the fantasy which, no contentig with reorganizing the world, creates beings which have no reference to the visible world.
There is real creation of " possible worlds " only from the moment the resemblance with objects and beings is erased. It is interesting to note that the creation of these possible worlds occurs at the same time when develops itself, in parallel, the abstract art. We find this simultaneity in the works of Yves Tanguy, Joan Miro and Paul Klee.
To explain why " this world " of such artist is that one and shows itself under this aspect is even vainer than any attempt to explain the essence of any work of art. If it is allowed to suppose that the influence of the environment - the Tuscany of the XVth century, Holland of the XVIIIth century - was able to have a role in the formation of Paolo Uccelo and Rembrandt 's esthetic, the appearance of a work as that of Tanguy around of 1920 doesn't define itself by the surrealist climate which reigned then, although the readings of Songs of Maldoror and André Breton 's meeting aren't unimportant. Also, a journey in Africa, made in 1930, was able to give a stylistic evolution in Klee but it is especially his internal journey which is dominant.
If we pursue the theme of the internal journey, it is necessary to approach the difference between the clairvoyant and the visionary. The first one receives and undergoes his vision as a phenomenon totally independent from him, while the visionary is the man who requests the vision in the fact that he predisposes himself so that it acquires its maximum of efficiency. It's like that of two painters.
The first one, William Blake ( England, in the beginning of the XXIIIth century ) had a great familiarity with the world of the spirits. As for the second, Gustave Moreau, he marked his work of the power of his dreams.
In the crossing of the dream and the technique, the surrealism – at the beginning of the XXth century – put back in honour the subject in a time when, since the impressionism especially, the only concern of many artists was for the pictorial values and the plastic values of the work of art. Most of the searches concerning the shape and the colour excluded the subject. The surrealists rehabilitated it until make of it a recurring subject, as the bird in Max Ernst.
The fantastic art remains faithful to the reality of the shapes, by playing their proportions and their juxtaposition, in the exactness of details but, at the same time, it saturates this reality of all the mystery that it contains, shows of it the intrinsic or explicit supernatural. We find these characteristic touches in Bosch, Bruegel and until Dali by going back the time.
The same filiation underlies the works of Boris Vallejo, Rowena Morrill, Di-Maccio, John Howe, Peter Gric, Yerka, Suidmak, Michèle Vincent.
All carry on what really began in the XVIth century.