Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What Are The Great Transparents?

Who is Kurt Seligmann? - Kurt Seligmann was a Swiss born surrealist artist and a member of surrealist circle. André Breton founded surrealism in 1924 when he wrote his first - out of three - manifestos of surrealism. Among surrealists we know more about painters such as Salvador Dali, André Masson, René Magritte and Marcel Duchamp, Seligmann is an unknown figure. Despite this fact he worked, exhibited and was a member of surrealist group.

The Great Transparent is part of the title of one of his painting: Melusine & the Great Transparent. The phrase had also appeared as the title of the epilogue of the Third Manifesto of Surrealism that Breton wrote in 1942. My paper explores the meaning of The Great Transparents in Seligmann’s painting and also it studies its relationship to Breton’s writings.

To sum it up for Breton the Great Transparents are [and I quote Kurt Seligmann and the Notion of the Great Transparents by Najafi, R.*]: “horrible creatures that cannot be controlled by man and he criticized people who instead of finding a way to fight those Great Transparents, recompense them by transforming them into a modern and a new myth.” such as Hitler. And for Seligmann The Great Transparents are [and I quote Kurt Seligmann and the Notion of the Great Transparents*] “not horrible transparent creatures but are great transparent goddesses. The wrapped up water, a live spring of river, refers to a twisting force of the transforming world. Thus maybe it is not so strange that he chose this title simply to refer to the transparency of pure, clear water, which gives the feeling of safety to an anxious soul.”

Melusine & The Great Transparents
Kurt Seligmann, 1943

*Najafi, R. “
Kurt Seligmann and the Notion of the Great Transparents” CUNY at Brooklyn College Desertion for MA in Art History & Criticism.


Nazy said...

Thank you for that amazing explanation Roja Jan! I think I understand. Wow, your work is so cool! Did you get a standing ovation for your presentation? Great work. Khasteh nabashi azizam.

Siavash said...

Thank you so much for the note, and your attention. Topic is quite interesting.