Yves Tanguy was inspired to make art by the inner world of dreams
and the subconscious mind. Rather than
reflecting the external world, this painting combines realism with
fantasy and mystery in an expression of a private experience.
The style in which Yves Tanguy created this painting is called
Surrealism. The word "surrealism" comes
from the French word surréalisme, make up of the
roots sur- meaning beyond plus réalisme
meaning realism. The art movement called Surrealism began in the
early 1920s, in Paris, when a group of adventurous writers, painters,
and filmmakers began what would become an international art movement.
André Breton, a French poet, explained the movement's goals
in his Manifesto of Surrealism, published in 1924.
Surrealism grew out of the despair caused by the devastations of
World War I. A young generation of artists lost faith in humanity
and rational thought. The Surrealists felt that the outside world
had failed them so they turned to the subconscious mind for inspiration.
This inner world of powerful images and ideas had been explored
by Sigmund Freud through psychoanalysis.
Freud's theories about the human mind and his writings on the interpretation
of dreams strongly influenced the Surrealists. The Surrealists believed
that the images and experiences in dreams could be used as inspiration
for poetry and art. As a result, dreams, fantasy, and the element
of chance played an important role in their work.
Through Birds, through Fire, but Not through Glass, looks
almost like a portrait of the strange biomorphic
form in the center of the painting. Just as dreams often include
fragments of everyday life, Yves Tanguy combined outer and inner
"reality" into a single work of art. Although the alien-like forms
are fantasy, they are painted realistically in three-dimensional
form. Several smaller forms lie or float in the landscape,
helping to create the illusion of distance. The objects are bathed
in light and, like objects from the real world, they cast shadows
upon the ground. The shadows help to make the shapes appear real,
yet they do not look like anything from the real world. Instead,
they look like creatures from another world. Throughout the painting
there is a feeling of mystery and ambiguity.
shapes that suggest living organisms.
painting, drawing, or other depiction of natural scenery.
method of treating mental disorders through investigating emotional
conflicts and childhood repressions by getting the patient to talk
freely, examining his or her dreams.
process which occurs without awareness, or conscious perception
on the part of the individual.
in art and literature from 1924 to 1945 where artists attempted
to give visual representation to dreams, fantasies, and the unconscious
mind. Emphasized real objects in unreal situations, surprise, contradiction
object which has height, width, and depth. Artists use illusionary
techniques to create a sense of depth on a flat surface which has
only height and width (two-dimensional).
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