As proved by Brauner’s enucleated eye, our future is written in the artworks
Victor Brauner, Self-Portrait with a Plucked Eye, 1931, oil on wood, 22 x 16,2 cm., courtesy of Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Man Ray, Indestructible objet, 1923-1959, Métronome et collage de photographie, 22,2 x 12 x 11 cm, courtesy of Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Victor Brauner (1903-1966) was a Romanian surrealist painter. His artistic production is rich in unique hybrid images, hallucinations mixing women, animals and objects out of any logical constraint. A recurring symbol in his works, perhaps his obsession, is that of the enucleated eye. In fact, he often represented subjects whose eyes or a single eye were detached from their orbits. In 1931 he painted the work “Self-Portrait with eye extract“, in which the artist portrayed himself without his left eye. In 1938, as an involuntary prophecy, due to a fight in a bar, hit by a glass, he lost just his left eye.
The artist who painted his misfortune can be compared to a wolf that bites his tail, just as in the Brauner work titled “Table – wolf “. This piece is now exhibited in an extensive show on surrealism (“The Surrealist et l’objet“, open until 3 March at the Centre Poumpidou in Paris. The curious thing is that amongst the more than 200 works (including paintings, sculptures, photographs and videos), there is also a work that sounds like a bad joke against Brauner: a metronome with an eye, titled “The object indestructible” (by Man Ray).
The show, we can say at this point, lacks only the work of another great exponent of surrealism, Salvador Dalí, who portrayed himself with his left eye covered by a bandage on which it was painted… a glass eye.