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Talk/Workshop with Cedric Day

Back to History - Contact him at pompandimp@gmail.com

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Talk/workshop on Surrealism , 10 May 2019
This was a two-part evening:
First Cedric reminded us of several well-known surrealist artists' work and introduced others some of us had never heard of
Then he had us doing it ourselves.

Some surrealist art is very carefully and skillfully painted, some may be made by collage and over-painting but some is the result of an artist letting their hand wander around the page making marks. "If your hand does that, just let it go". That's what we were asked to do in the second half of the evening. One artist, for example, sat going round and round on the London Underground Circle Line, pencil and paper in hand, apparently paying attention to nothing, not even his drawing, until pages were "finished".

It is no coincidence that the surrealist movement flourished during and after the First World War - a time of utter madness, pointless slaughter and suffering.

André Masson "Furious Suns", pen and ink

André Masson "The Sybil of Conjecture", tempera and sand

Man Ray "Arum Lilies", print and black ink
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Man Ray "Fashion Photo", print and black ink - Oscar Dominguez "Decalcomania", black gouache

Max Ernst "Solitary Tree and married trees", frottage, collage and decalcomania
After talking us through these and several other surrealistic paintings
Cedric got us to start by spending a few minutes making random marks.

Secondly he had us produce a set of "communal" paintings.
For these, each of the dozen or so of us spent 60 seconds making some marks.
Then we passed our work to the person on our right and we all added another minute's worth,
prompted by what we had been given. This continued until our original piece of paper got back to us.

The following are the photos I got from these two steps. Can you tell the difference? Which way is "up"?
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Next he had us try decalcomania :
squeezing paint between two surfaces (paper here) and then pulling them apart.
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This proved to be one of our more enjoyable evenings.
Everyone participated and seemed to enjoy themselves. Thank you Cedric.

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