The era of the great masters is over.
What else is there to discover ?
In the domain of art, each creation is unique, and knows little progress thereafter. Arising over time are all sorts of variations of the same themes, sometimes full-bodied, often quite bland. But the force existing at the beginning of the work is rarely maintained. Similarly, when this force is reapplied, the action produced in the artwork becomes automated and mechanized, so much so that the dulled senses fail to respond to the medium. The time is then ripe for a new invention.
What we call the technique is inseparable from the art. And so we are wanting, and this is not a trivial matter, to do away with some ideas. Gutenberg, the inventor of movable type, printed by this means a handful of books, which still remain supreme as realisations of the art of book typography.
The centuries which have succeeded him were not marked by any other major invention in this field of interest – until photography. - El Lissitzky, Gutenberg Jahrbuch 1926
Organizers of the International Exhibition of Surrealism in 1938 include André Breton (42), Marcel Duchamp (51), Paul Eluard (43), Max Ernst (47), Salvador Dali (34) wearing a diving suit posed behind the Belgian artist E.L.T. Mesens.
The Surrealists had already held a number of group exhibitions, but this one was something new. For several years, Breton and his followers had wanted to organize an exhibition that would be in itself a creative act and a surrealist event, where the paintings and objects could function as elements in a totally surrealist environment.
On the opening on 17 January at 10 p.m., the visitors came to the forecourt of the gallery - according to the press, there were allegedly more than 3,000 guests that evening, and 20,000 during the entire duration of the exhibition, despite the entrance fee of 10 francs. Here they were first dazzled by the headlights of an old English cab pointed at them. This cab was Salvadore Dali's Taxi Pluvieux, which contained two mannequins.
Distant ancestor of today’s video games, "Shoot a Photo" attractions, appeared among fairground stands around 1920. If the shooter's bullet hit the bullseye, they won a photo of themselves. In this new game the shooter fired upon himself.
Istole the Mona Lisa, to avoid the foolish admiration of this masterpiece by stupidly nostalgic people. Those hands are too well drawn, her eyes are not unexpected, that nose planted stupidly in the middle of her face, the flat forehead, her mouth, this monstrosity in a word ... I stole the Mona Lisa because I am a poet, I thought about the singers, the writers, the reporters.
It was summer, you remember, what heat! It was quite, dull and flat. Thanks to me, suddenly, beyond the verses in the music halls,the copy in the newspapers, the songs in the cabarets. I defeated a ‹sous secretaire d'Etat›, but I brought to life a thousand men of spirit” - Return of the Mona Lisa, Ecole des Beaux-Arts Paris, 31 Dezember 1913. Thief's Speech about the Mona Lisa, Excelsior, January 14th 1914
On the back of a Man Ray photograph one might find: his handwriting, signatures, monograms, grease pencil marks, pricing notations, customs and collector stamps, exhibition labels, dealer inventory numbers, handling, framing, and mounting instructions, glue stains, fingerprints, mount board remains, mount tissue, retouching instructions, registrar's notations, handwritten letters, printer instructions, dedications, directional notations, cropping marks, certifications, random numbers with circles and dashes, and of course the stamps: originals and copies, lifetime and posthumous, in pink, blue, purple, red, black, bold or faded, or embossed.
An excerpt from the novel describes: “You know, that rays of light reflected from different bodies form pictures, paint the image reflected on all polished surfaces, for example, on the retina of the eye, on water, and on glass. The spirits have sought to fix these fleeting images; they have made a subtle matter by means of which a picture is formed in the twinkling of an eye. They coat a piece of canvas with this matter, and place it in front of the object to be taken.
The first effect of this cloth is similar to that of a mirror, but by means of its viscous nature the prepared canvas, as is not the case with the mirror, retains a facsimile of the image. The mirror represents images faithfully, but retains none; our canvas reflects them no less faithfully, but retains them all. This impression of the image is instantaneous.
The canvas is then removed and deposited in a dark place. An hour later the impression is dry, and you have a picture the more precious in that no art can imitate its truthfulness.”