Founded in 1924, the Surrealist movement was inspired by the idea of tapping into the subconscious mind in order to influence creativity by unlocking the imagination.
Surrealism was also establish during the era of Freud, the discovery of psychoanalysis. The two artist I chose to study about were Vladimir Kush and Meret Oppenheims work. Broadly known for using oil on canvas as his medium, Kush visually plays with earth’s natural shapes and morphs them into other objects that create fantasy-like-escapes throughout his canvases. Meret Oppenheim was widely known for her piece “Breakfast in Fur”.. Although she has contributed oil on canvas paintings and other obscure objects to the Surrealist movement, she primarily creates ordinary objects but in a convulsive state drawing people’s attention to the known classy structures, but dressed up in grotesque ways that people have never seen or thought of before.
This is the beauty of the Surrealism movement. Section 2. Section 3. Vladimir Kush was born in Moscow, Russia in 1965 and is still currently creating art. He studied at Surikov Moscow Institute and for several years stayed in his native town to create his artwork until he had enough money raised to buy a one way ticket to the United States to pursue his “American Odyssey” in 1990. He first settled in Los Angeles where he sold drawing portraits on the Santa Monica pier and from there saved up enough money and bought a plane ticket to live in Hawaii.
His popularity increased due to his oil paintings being sold as giclee prints too. When he was living in Hawaii, he was offered to open a few exhibitions in Hong Kong like at the Mandarin Fine Art Gallery. Once returning from Hong Kong, his opportunities as an artist flourished and were recognized with getting gig in big American cities like Seattle. In 2001, Kush opened his first gallery in Lahaina, Hawaii and following that opened four more galleries in Laguna Beach, California and in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Caesar Palace and Planet Hollywood hotels.
Vladimir Kush describes his own oil on canvas works of art as “metamorphic realism”. In 2011, Kush won the First Prize in painting at the Artistes du Monde international exhibition in Cannes. One of his more popular pieces of work is called, “Departure of the Winged Ship”.Section 4. Oppenheim was born October 6th, 1913 in Berlin, Germany and was inspired to create art at a young age. At the age of 18, she moved to Paris and attended the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. Noticed by her obscure work, Oppenheim was welcomed by other famous surrealists into the surrealist circle.
Duly note that during this era, not a lot of women were accepted or respected as artists in the art world. Some artists she befriended during this time were Andre Burton, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Picasso, and many more. Born in a family with Swiss analysts, Oppenheim was taught about psychoanalytic theory, and once discovering this phenomenon, she began to keep a dream journal, which became an important source of her creativity trailing her works. Her pieces were based on everyday house objects, that were repurpose to connote themes of female sexuality with malicious meaning behind it. In 1936, Oppenheim was apart of two recognized Surrealist exhibitions outside of Paris, which were The International Surrealist Exhibition in the New Burlington Galleries in London and at the Fantastic Art Dada Surrealism in The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Andre Burton quoted Oppenheims artwork to, “hound the beast of function” and that “beauty will be convulsive or will not be at all.
” Oppenheim was not only a creator/artist during the Surrealism movement, she was also a nude model for Man Ray’s photography as well as had a year long affair with Max Ernst before she created her infamous piece “Breakfast in Fur” in 1936. After creating “Breakfast in Fur”, it became “her prison” and she couldn’t create anything that could live up to as big as a title as “Breakfast in Fur”. She lived with depression for a long period of time and hit a creative crisis, eventually having her move back to Basel, Switzerland.
She kept a low-profile life until she eventually passed away in November 15th, 1985. Section 5. Section 6. Brief analysis of slide #2.
(100 word min)The story behind Oppenheims creation of “Breakfast in Fur” goes that at the Café de Flore in Paris, Picasso and Oppenheim met up and he commented on Oppenheim’s bracelet, which was a brass cuff with fur that she had made herself the previous year. He mentioned that, “one could cover anything with fur” and Oppenheimer replied back with stating, “even this plate and cup here”. Shortly after this subtle inspiration, Oppenheim went to the department store to wrap a teacup, saucer, and spoon in cream-and-tan pelt from chinese gazelle. She took two ideas of civilization (tea and fur) that were known for luxury lifestyle items, but created an unsettling hybrid combining the two together. Women in fur coats enjoying tea was a common sight in Paris, but no one would have every imagined putting fur around a tea set, this was one of the first objects ultimately to define surrealism. Since this was created during the age of Freud, a sexual connotation came from her display.
The spoon represented phallic, the cup vaginal, the hair pubic. Many people got different reactions to this piece, whether disgusted by imagining them drinking tea only to find pieces of hair it in, and for others, intrigued and wanting to stroke it. The significance behind “Breakfast in Fur” was that it was the first piece of art the MoMA acquired from a women and Oppenheim is known for being the “First Lady of MoMA” and is apart of the permanent collection there.Section 7. Conclusion. What I learned from the process of organizing an exhibition of works with various artists, was especially noticing the circle of surrealists, was very small and each one had influenced one another whether it be bouncing ideas off one another or inspiration from other surrealists works previously.
Communication is key when it comes to presentations and our group didn’t have a problem with choosing artists or figuring out a good theme throughout our slides we thought best fit surrealism. What came naturally was choosing which figures I wanted to learn more information about. I didn’t have a problem with finding information about Oppenheim, but some of the challenging aspects was trying to find enough research on Vladimir Kush. I wanted to choose one artist that was a little off the map than one of the popular ones, but he has contributed immense amounts of works to surrealism that people can recognize, but don’t predominately know him as an artist. I feel like as a curator, I did the best of my ability to do enough research on the artists I have chosen that was also interesting to know about.