It’s Day 193 and I’m still busy busy. Join me in celebrating Christian Dotremont today! It was difficult to find an extensive biography on him so it’s a little cut and paste! Enjoy.
Christian Dotremont, (12 December 1922 – 20 August 1979), was a Belgian painter and poet who was born in Tervuren, Belgium. He was a founding member of the Revolutionary Surrealist Group (1946) and he also founded Cobra together with Danish artist Asger Jorn. He later became well known for his painted poems (French: Peinture mots), which he called logograms.
He died of tuberculosis in Tervuren.
Above is from wikipedia.
Dotremont was influenced by late 1930s Belgian Surrealism. While in Paris during
World War II, he cofounded the group La Main à Plume, coedited its publication, and began his own textual experiments. He returned to Belgium after the war, and he helped keep Surrealism alive there in such publications asLe Ciel Bleu (“The Blue Sky”). With the establishment of COBRA, which is known chiefly as a visual arts phenomenon, Dotremont began a private quest for a pure, transcendent poetry.
This led to his invention of “logograms,” in which he sought to create a new “visual grammar,” a “poem-landscape.” Binary oppositions abound in his work: mystical-scientific, primal-futuristic, inner-outer, silent-sonic, intellectual-emotional. COBRA also furthered Dotremont’s friendship with the Danish painter Asger Jorn and cemented his links with Scandinavia. In 1951 Dotremont became ill with tuberculosis, the disease that eventually caused his death. While recovering from his first bout in Denmark, he wrote an autobiographical novel, La Pierre et l’oreiller (1955; “The Stone and the Pillow”). In such works as Digue(1959; “Dike”) and Moi, qui j’avais (1961; “I, Who I Had”) Dotremont continued his experiments with the systematic destabilization of language, which culminated in Logogrammes I & II (1964–65), Logbook(1974), and Traces (1980, posthumously published).
Above is from www.britannica.com.
Christian Dotremont‘s passion for words, images and art was forged early on, being born into a family deeply engaged with the editing and
publishing of art journals. His inquisitiveness and interest in creating works of art through words, eventually becomes the defining style of his entire career.
As a young poet in the early 1940’s, Dotremont becomes involved with the Surrealist movement, with the aim “to reveal the many facets of art”. With the surrealists, he discovers an artistic form, which does not allow itself to be controlled by common divisions between the arts, but rather encourages the freedom to experiment with words, images and concepts, inquisitively and vividly examining art as a concept.
Writing in images
In the work of Dotremont, words always play the most central part. Dotremont develops a style of writing or system of symbols called “logogrammes”, defined as something between images and words. The logogrammes appear as beautiful and ornate patterns, leading our thoughts to calligraphy or Arabic scripture. Dotremont painted these “pictures of words, and words of pictures” throughout his entire life. Often, he would accompany them with a short note beneath the image, which translated the logogramme into a readable text. Such notes were often brief, poetic and with a humoristic point.
Above is from www.galeriebirch.com.
I hope you enjoy my piece today. I mainly used his “logogrammes” series as inspiration.
I decided to use a Buddhist phrase from the Dhammapada, The universe is eternal. The universe is not eternal. I put it into an English to Arabic translator and then recreated it into a painting. I will see you tomorrow on Day 194. Best, Linda