Wednesday, March 19, 2014

From the archives: Dolfi Trost

That saying, ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’, I’m not so sure about it. I have a pretty good idea how little I know but what’s the use dwelling on that. I’m still feeling sore about the parking ticket from yesterday. Still, every time I stumble across a new artist, someone I feel like I should have known about years ago, I can’t work out whether my education let me down or new discoveries should fall under the category of new research/internet mania.

I spent years studying modernism and then years teaching modernism. I came at it from different departments – art history, cinema and later design. Sure, by the 2000s there was a lot of hoo-ha about modernisms, plural. But I’m still wondering how Romanian Surrealist Dolfi Trost (1916-1966) escaped my cross hairs. How come I never heard of him? Here was someone who was investigating the surrealist drawing technique entopic graphomania in Bucharest (a youtube tutorial might go like this: Draw dots on a page. Join them together.)

I never knew. He published his drawings in a serious looking publication in French if I’m not mistaken Vision dans le Cristal, Oniromancie obsessionelle (Et neuf graphomanies entoptiques from1945. Then he went to Chicago. What did he do in Chicago? Why was he there? Did he marvel at the skyscrapers designed by that well-known European modernist, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and his students at Illinois Institute of Technology? At this point we can only speculate.*

*In the English language, on the web, I can’t find anything.

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