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  1. #1
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Discuss a painting (what?) by René Magritte

    I think it puts to shame the idea of "exposure latitude" or "dynamic range..."



    (L'empire des lumières, 1954)
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    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  2. #2
    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    Interesting painting. Do you know how much detail the original has in the shadows? Is it pretty much as represented in the image?

  3. #3
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    I've seen the original in person many years ago during a big Magritte exhibit in Montreal, and it's detailed as far as night paintings go. It took me a while actually to register the dissonance between night and day.

    I think it's brilliant, because it relies on the twofold meaning of a dark tree: either seen from night, or as underexposed shadow of a contre-jour. In that sense, I think it owes a little bit to photography (our own eyes would see more details) but at the same time is gently mocking it by showing the impossible.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  4. #4
    sun of sand's Avatar
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    I don't like it. I'd never buy it or put a copy on my walls.
    I like the lamp and it's illumination of the home and the reflection on the water, that's all. Those tepid morning skies make me as sick as those empty pits of darkness. I don't care whether it's impossible or how it doesnt/does relate to photography
    I don't see the idea as being brilliant. If it's brilliant in any way imo it is its ability to make you sick ..but that has nothing to do with the idea

  5. #5
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Geez son of sand, get a grip! We're talking about 1920s surrealism, people doing weird stuff for the first time of their lives. Of course it ends up gimmicky after a while.

    Oh and the fact that it makes you sick does not mean anything about making other people sick as you imply!
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  6. #6

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    I looked at a lot of Magritte's work in the Brussels Art Museum a few years ago and liked this one maybe because it was closest to a contre jour photo. Until you look twice it seems like a normal painting unlike almost all of his surrealist work such as the " Lost Jockey" and others even more surrealistic. It stands out because it is almost normal. Equally some might say that IR shots especially on HIE are almost surrealistic because of the strange light and glow.

    A lot of surrealism has to be looked at very closely. Most of it doesn't reveal itself fully otherwise. One problem is that Magritte took years to do all his paintings and each demanded a great deal of his time and thought. We try and view them all in say a couple of hours and wonder why only one or two strike any chords immediately!

    pentaxuser

  7. #7
    sun of sand's Avatar
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    a better/another reproduction
    http://cgfa.sunsite.dk/magritte/p-magritte17.htm

    I included IMO
    I don't need to get a grip ..you wanted discussion I added to it.
    To me, it's not all that brilliant. Its an idea put to canvas. An idea we all have at some point. He seemed to have used this a lot in his paintings. It's not new, really ..just put on canvas by a great painter. They -for the most part- either seem easy or there isn't anything TO understand
    A lot seem to get their greatness by the viewers bowling themselves over with artsy-farsty intellectualism trying to understand them
    Sick. Disturbing. What else can it be? Most all of his works are disturbing. His greatness comes from his ability to disturb you, if you ask me. Either by disturbing your senses or disturbing you into finding what isn't really there ..all the same. If you caught a fish that once landed started to sing Elvis tunes what would you think? Disturbing? Easy to understand what would motivate a person to paint that, though.
    So easy the viewer would probably delve deep into Elvis life to try and find new ways of associating the fish to Elvis so that he can seem smarter than everyone else/secure a job.
    His works are little thoughts on canvas that force you into thinking about your own little thoughts ..asking you to believe in them as much as you would be inclined to believe in a great painters ..his. IMO


    A large %age of paintings took/take years and required/ great thought. ? It takes time to paint ..and condense all that thought into a pretty simple painting that when viewed for a short time is understandable
    Any painting that requires years of study has a fool for a student
    If "you" write a pages long critique I truly think you're just giving yourself pats on the ass for thinking of everything you're writing
    It's nearly instantaneous your response to works of art. Who is that person writing for?
    IMO that writer is himself an artist.

  8. #8
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    OK, so let me get this straight: the only important response to an artwork is the first ten seconds, during which we either fall in love or turn our stomach over in disgust?
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  9. #9
    sun of sand's Avatar
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    I might say it depends on just how critical/sensitive you were during those first "10" seconds.
    You may be the type to try and find out exactly why the artist created but I am not
    Trivial to me.
    I believe all artists are trying to say the same types of things as all artists -and all people- have been trying to say since the beginning
    No real reason to relearn what you know, you know?
    The "tricks" employed may change but the message hardly ever does. Art has to be new but there is little new about it. What makes "new" art exciting is how it makes one realize that it really isn't all that "new" at all. It ..disturbs. After a while that feeling goes away because we have accepted another way of seeing.
    If you need to analyze for years to understand something you've either overlooked what was under your nose or the painter perhaps didn't do much. IMO.
    A person isn't going to like all art even if they can ..."understand".... all art
    Art is about much more than just the message it conveys/tries to convey/if it is trying to convey something "real" at all ..that is where I come from.


    I might ask you why it is/seems you're trying to belittle me

    "It took me a while actually to register the dissonance between night and day.
    I think it's brilliant, because it relies on the twofold meaning of a dark tree: either seen from night, or as underexposed shadow of a contre-jour. In that sense, I think it owes a little bit to photography (our own eyes would see more details) but at the same time is gently mocking it by showing the impossible."

    "Geez son of sand, get a grip! We're talking about 1920s surrealism, people doing weird stuff for the first time of their lives. Of course it ends up gimmicky after a while.
    Oh and the fact that it makes you sick does not mean anything about making other people sick as you imply!"

    Those two posts seem to come from two different people IMO

  10. #10
    arigram's Avatar
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    I like Magritte.
    He doesn't try to overwhelm you with a plethora of elements like Dali
    but he sticks to one simple idea that he presents clearly.
    He follows the aethetics of naturalistic painting with one major element
    out of the ordinary, enough to transcend to the realm of surrealism.

    Sun of Sand's argument is largely incomprehensible to me because of his
    confusing command of the language. I think his point is that its ok
    not to like a work of art, one that to him is not of any interest. He seems
    to find that the central idea of the painting, "to disturb", is unsuccessful
    because of its lack of originality.
    Surrealism was a response to the infatuation of its time with "logic" and
    a matter-of-fact attitude and their playful but serious play with the instinct,
    the irrational and the subconscious.
    One is very much excused for not finding their work original or imaginative
    or artistically important but I believe that is very much because of the
    influence they had on the artworld and culture.

    Maybe we could also discuss surrealist photography?
    aristotelis grammatikakis
    www.arigram.gr
    Real photographs, created in camera, 100% organic,
    no digital additives and shit




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