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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 6 (September 1, 1936)

All-in Art

All-in Art.

We, poor puling picture-peerers, imagine that pictures should be painted with paint. Bah! It is this sort of thing which has kept our pictures so disgustingly intelligible. News comes from Old England that the latest batch of demented delineasts whose correlated contortions are pursued under the pseudonym “surrealism,” stop at nothing, from socks to sausages, to capture the soul of sublimity in deleterious depiction. Hearken, oh ye simple souls who imagine that a picture is a picture, to this description of their principles—or lack of them.

“Logis is set at defiance. Fantasy is completely unbridled. Stress is laid on the inconsequential and the irrational.”

And this:

“Free use (is made) of sand, feathers, string and nails in order to make a picture.”

And also this:

“One particularly daring exhibit consists of half-a-dozen buttons—real buttons—sewn on a canvas across which is sewn a diagonal band of colour.”

And here we strike the high-spots of delirium:

“In one you press a button and a primitive eye revolves like a catherine wheel.”

“One picture is made with scraps of glass and scissor blades.”

“Another picture is made with an imperfect torso under a cage of wire and is labelled ‘Last Voyage of Captain Cook.”’

And finally, as if to prove that onehalf of the world is mad and the other is only half sane, it is seriously suggested that “—it is perhaps as well that we should not expend all our energy on ridicule but should try to understand what these surrealists are seeking after.”

“Whether Art is to make the ‘common man’ feel bigger, better and brighter.”

“Whether Art is to make the ‘common man’ feel bigger, better and brighter.”

Whatever they are seeking after, we haven't got it. We aren't holding out on them.