A true intuition on looking at the sky: Brauner’s “Surrealist” and Georg Cantor

The peacock's tail

Victor Brauner’s “Surrealist”

In a 1924 “surrealist manifesto”, André Breton (1896 – 1966) declared Surrealism to be the “dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason“. Salvador Dali (1904 – 1989), the emblematic figure of Surrealism, rephrased this by admitting that “the only difference between a madman and me is that I am not mad“. Indeed, like a conjurer or magician the surrealist has to perform the trick of expressing “the real functioning of thought” by crossing the line of reason while retaining all the while his own sanity. And this is exactly how the Romanian painter Victor Brauner (1903 – 1966) pictured his own “Surrealist” (1947), a conjurer ready to do his tricks within a mad and undecipherable world. The instruments of his craft appear scattered upon a strange, half – animate table, objects that one would normally expect…

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