Grey Forest, 2012

Grey Forest is a 1926 painting by Max Ernst. The painting is abstract, but suggestive of figuration. Ernst used a technique called grattage, which is scraping colour on a prepared ground set over an uneven surface, effectively a version of frottage (making a rubbing, much like a brass rubbing).

Max Ernst had this to say about the technique: “By adapting the process of frottage to the technical procedures of painting, although at first  it had seemed applicable only to drawing, while all the time trying to restrain my own active participation in the evolution of the picture so as to increase the active functioning of the hallucinatory faculties of the mind, I succeeded in being present as a spectator at the birth of all my works…Swimming blindly, I made myself see. I saw. And I was suprised to find I was in love with what I could see, and wanted to identify with it.”

You can see a picture of Grey Forest at Pam Thompson’s poetry blog here.

Without putting a time limit on it (because I know I won’t stick to it), I’m going to do a few posts (and photographs), with titles taken from Jean-Luc Daval’s History of Abstract Painting.

As usual, thanks to John Pindar and Deanne who set this whole titling thing in motion. And to my collaborator and all-round cool dude, Richard over at CK Ponderings with whom I will be doing a collaborative post this Sunday on his site. Please check it out.