Artibus et Historiae no. 52 (XXVI)

2005, ISSN 0391-9064

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AVIGDOR W. G. POSÈQ - Jacques Lipschitz's Bird-Headed Prometheus and the Related Works

Jacques Lipchitz assigned to his works the role of an ?image magic? that could modify reality. As a young artist he initially embraced the Cubist manner but he didn't devoid of deeper semantic manner and sought literary themes. It was probably because of his Jewish education which assigned greater relevance to concepts than to form. To explain Lipchitz's artistic procedure the author uses the term "bi-sociation", described by Arthur Koestler as "an unconscious mental linkage whereby previously unrelated and seemingly incompatible ideas are brought together and combined". The example of using by Lipchitz this kind of creative process are bird-headed Prometheus Strangling the Vulture and related works. Bi-sociation involves making meaningful connections where none existed before. In the case of bird-headed Prometheus the linkage involved an integration of themes drawn from Greek mythology and Jewish literary lore with visual motifs originating in other civilizations and meaningful references to political actuality. The author investigates Lipchitz's artistic process in a broader perspective and shows how extraordinary appeal of described works arises from artist's belief that emotional energy he invested in them endowed the creative activity with a virtue beyond the aesthetic.

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