Using Yves Tanguy’s artwork and the knowledge you have acquired about the art movement Surrealism, answer the question below. (approx. 200 words)

Question; Outline how the following work is a subjective painting. In your response refer to the use of emotions and surreal images and explain how artists explore the subconscious mind in their work.

(When writing try to NOT in your answer to say the ‘Subjective Frame’ or that the work is apart of the ‘Subjective Frame’ but rather use all the words that come under that frame; a response based on senses, imagination, intuition, feelings, dreams, surreal, subconscious, emotions etc).

Yves Tanguy Indefinite Divisibility 1942



  1. Bree Borg said,

    The artwork ‘indefinite Divisibility’ by Yves Tanguy is from the Surreal period as it was painted in 1942.
    We can tell that this artwork is trying to evoke our emotions because it has objects that are common. They are juxtaposed so that it gives a sense of being abstract although it has been painted as if it is real.
    The artwork looks like it is set at the beach so most people can bring back memories and emotions from that because most people would have been to the beach.
    It is highly abstract and juxtaposed because the objects do not all go together. There is a boat propeller, what looks like a clamp for building in the back ground of the beach, and a tall figure with objects put together to form a standing figure.
    This image may evoke emotions because it makes you look further into the painting so that you can deconstruct the image and interpret it how you want.
    It makes the audience feel like they are in a deserted place by themselves with some obscene figure.
    I don’t like this artwork because it is confusing and highly abstract.
    I don’t think it is very relatable because it is of personal connection to the artist.

  2. Luke S. said,

    Yves Tanguy’s Indefinite Divisibility (1942) displays an arrangement of random objects on the beach. though the objects are arranged in a way that give the impression of a man standing on a ladder. scattered around the ground are bowls filled with water and other machine-like objects capturing water. the image gives a feeling of being lost and one could say that the idea of a man capture all the water in little bowls beside the ocean, that the artist feels like there is so much going on emotionally (ocean) that he struggles to keep it all in (the bowls).

    the high use unstable structures gives a sense of something falling apart. the shadow cast by the awkward structure also gives the illusion of something leaving us and going in the opposite direction. the shadow also contrasts with the bright blue background.

  3. Hannah said,

    Yves Tanguy’s Indefinite Divisibility (1942) is a Surrealist artwork, it is influenced by the subconscious and dreams. The artwork is an insight in to the on goings of the artists mind and reflects his feelings and emotions as at the time it was created.

    The piece shows little realistic depictions in the scene; the scene within the painting is a surreal one; it shows no naturalistic features and nothing that could possibly occur in real life. It shows a mixture of irregular objects combined to create a sculpture within the painting, on top of the sculpture appears to be a man, possibly the artist’s reflection of himself. This says a lot about the artist at the time he painted his work, that fact that he is on top of the sculpture may represent that he feels that he is coping in life and that everything is going well, he is reaching up and aiming higher.

    The colours used within the work are subtle and calm; the artist has not allowed one area to be more demanding of the viewer’s attention. This is due to the fact that the artwork is not concerned with the use of colour or detail but the subject and meaning behind the artwork. The works main aim is to depict the subconscious and the thoughts and feelings held within the artist, it is an expression of his inner self.

    Finally the works fits into the subjective frame as it is not concerned so much with technique or the usual ideas associated with artworks. In this piece the artist is reflecting himself and his feelings so the work does not have to make perfect sense, in general appearance or to the viewer as the piece is simply an expression of the subconscious and something that will probably only make sense to the artist himself.

  4. Clare said,

    In Indefinite Divisibility (1942), Yves Tanguy has used an interesting combination of visual techniques as well as psychological experiences to convey his thoughts and feelings and transform them in a very real way. The uncertainty of subject matter makes the artwork become very personal and unique. This is also shown through the title, Indefinite Divisibility. The fact that the objects are undefinable confuses the audience however because of this it captures the audiences’ attention. It is therefore obvious that Yves Tanguy is very connected with this work.

    The abstract forms and the use of colour allow the audience to interpret this work in various ways. For example the subtle use of colour such as the blue background can suggest sadness or emptiness. There can also be very opposing views; the tall structure on the right could represent Yves Tanguy himself, or it may show a geometrical construction which suggest the world of machines. However as this is a surrealist work, the subject matter may not represent the real world. This highlights to the audience that this work could have derived from the subconscious, imagination or dreams.

    This artwork is obviously very personal to the artist, Yves Tanguy, however audiences have very different interpretations of it according to their life experiences.

  5. Lauren (D) said,

    This work, ‘Infinite divisibility’ by Yves Tanguy painted in 1942 shows the distinct influence of subjectivity on artists belonging to the surrealist movement.
    -The surrealists were highly reliant on sub-consciousness and imaginative interpretation of subject matter in order to communicate distinct emotions and recollections – in this way, many artworks while evoking a bizarre, ambiguous dreamscape façade maintain a sense of highly intrinsic personal value to the artist themselves. The uncertainty surrounding the subject matter, which has been reduced to an abstract arrangement of geometric and organic lines and shapes from which we have difficulty in discerning meaning or purpose, is further emphasized by the title of the work- ‘indefinite’, showing how this work is probably more relevant/ significant to Tanguy rather than his audience.
    – The surrealist relied on their own creative intuition in order convey something about themselves to the audience in a unique manner, in an approach called ‘free association’, which involved an exploration of the ones senses, experiences, emotions and insecurities and incorporating them in the artwork through eg. the use of color in ‘indefinite divisibility’, which in its subtlety evokes a calm mood– the composition of the artwork, including the vast space in the background conveys psychological void of the unconsciousness in which personal visions and hallucinations may freely manifest to distort the artists reality and potentially communicate the inner self. Furthermore, the technique used by Tanguy to render the formations in this artwork is highly refined and naturalistic (eg. tone, light source etc), but in their alien and abstract nature this increases the surrealistic, dreamlike level of the artwork.

  6. Madison J said,

    Yves Tanguy’s ‘Indefinite Divisibility’ (1942), radiates elements of dreaming and reverie, in a bizarre and surreal landscape. The vast background landscape appears never-ending, like an abyss, accentuating the strange and freakish mood surrounding the painting. The subject matter is highly tentative, and the objects are juxtaposed because of their extremely different themes.

    The interpretation is entirely up to the viewer because of the abstract form, which the objects create, and the pale, watery, and soft colours applied to the painting. The pale blue landscape could represent emotion (sadness, emptiness), and just as well, could symbolize calmness, and a serene nature.

    Yves Tanguy had relied on his subconscious mind to craft this artwork as other surrealists have; this is clear through the bizarre subject matter and confronting façade, and the open-to-interpretation manner.

  7. Courtney W said,

    Yves Tanguy’s ‘Indefinite Divisibility’ (1942) is apart of the surrealist movement as it is dreamlike and imaginative. Even though it is classed as a surreal painting, it also shows influence from Dadaism through the abstract, colourful geometric forms in the foreground. These geometric forms individually appear to be two-dimensional, but the way they have been constructed using perspective gives a three-dimensional look to the forms. The geometric forms have been constructed carefully allowing one to explore the power of ones mind because they can be interpreted in various ways, each meaning and visual aspect is different and unique for every person who views it. Some people may interpret the right form as being a person (shown in the dark shadow), or interpret the left form as a table or floating rug. The bare, soft, blended blue and white background contrasts against the thickly outlined, solid coloured, crowded objects in the foreground. This contrast adds to the surreal, dreamlike setting, taking the viewer into a dreaming trans as they look into the image for deeper meaning and interpretation. This may make one as oneself questions relating to the subjective frame such as ‘how does this painting make you feel?’ or ‘what do you imagine the artist wishes to express?’ Tanguy has carefully created this artwork leaving meaning and interpretation entirely up to its audience. ‘Indefinite Divisibility’ shows Tanguy’s advanced skills in creating meaning to an audience; being in the surreal movement he has moved away from the artist telling the audience the meaning and let them explore their own minds and interpret it their own way.

  8. Kim said,

    Surrealism is a movement in which draws from the artist’s subconscious, their imaginations and emotions not restrained by controlling reasonable thought, in which art forms communicate their experiences and emotions encountered in this dreamlike state.
    Yves Tanguy’s artwork, ‘Indefinite Divisibility’ (1942), is an artwork embracing the Surrealist movement in which it confronts the audience with the element of surprise through its undecipherable meaning of it’s subject matter, and the clear influence of the personal psychological experience of the artist.
    The odd juxtaposition of the weird objects arranged together in an illogical manner, shown in the foreground, balanced piles of random objects, shows the free association process take place, hinting through the gradual build up of item after item – thought after thought – forming peculiar free standing structures in a dreamlike environment.
    The differing shades of blues hazed in with white, create the illusory environment, in which it obscures what is ahead, the background almost a flat never ending plane. This combination of the subject matter in the empty space creates the effect upon the audience that what they are viewing is an representation of the artist’s mind – an empty void, free of conscious influence piling up free associations of random items that come by in the artist’s head.
    Therefore, the artwork is highly personal and of the inner self of the creator – as no meaning or clear interpretation can be defined by the audience – hence the name ‘Indefinite Divisibility’.
    Also, because of the highly realistic painting technique, tone and logical light source – it adds to the bizarre experience of the painting, and to it’s surreal quality as we have the ability to see and know what is there but not being able to comprehend it – thus being a representation only the artist can decipher. It is free for interpretation, but through it’s surreal peculiarity, it retains its indecipherability and mystery.

  9. Joanna said,

    The work ‘Indefinite Divisibility’ (1942) by Yves Tanguy has elements of dreams, emotions and different glazes into a subconscious. The colors throughout the background and foreground are light, soft, pale blues. These colors could represent the different emotions within the artwork, tranquil, peaceful and calmness. The objects throughout the artwork are juxtaposed. The objects in foreground being sharp, dangerous and even aggressive in a certain way. Whereas the objects within the background are smaller, calmer and softer.
    This artwork has created a dream like state for the audience. Making it seem surreal through its abstract form. The shadows within the artwork suggest that there is something being left behind or forgotten. The sharp structures create a feeling of something falling apart, relating back to the forgotten mood of the shadows. Also the different bowls filling with water on the ground suggest something is broken and leaking. They are also full and look as though they may overflow giving the artwork a feeling of fullness.
    The art work can be seen as highly abstract and confusing. This can therefore make Yves Tanguy’s ‘Indefinite Divisibility’ (1942) seem very confronting towards its audience.

  10. olivia moore said,

    Yves Tanguy’s surrealist work ‘ Indefinite Divisibility’ is highly subjective and this is expressed numerously throughout the work. The subjectivity in this work most expressive through the strange subject matter, it appears to be various parts of a boat stacked and scattered, to viewers this is quite difficult to understand and interpret but to the artist is must have great emotional significance as the image has sprung from his sub-conscious.

    He has explored an interpreted this image from his sub-conscious highly realistically. The tonal rendering and realistic colour palette and defying shadow of the tower of miscellaneous objects gives the work depth and create a clear window for the viewer into the artists mind and emotions. Even though this work is highly personal to the artist some aspects may be analysed by the viewer to have some symbolic aspects. The scattered bowls of water are resemblant of buckets being put out to stop drips from the ceiling and this may be interpreted subjectively as a symbol of the artist trying to hold his life together and balance everything he is involved in. The idea of balancing lifes struggles is also evident in the unstaple tower of objects. Any work can be interpreted to many branches of meaning but the real emotion is limited to the artists mind.

  11. Andrew Gangemi said,

    The work ‘Indefinite Divisibility’ Yves Tanguy 1942, is a work set in what seems to be a sand based location, possibly a beach or desert. In this location there are random objects that are scattered throughout the deserted scape that the artist has created. This work triggers senses like imagination, feelings, dreams, surreal, subconscious and emotions.

    The work triggers the imagination in the audience by presenting it self with a weird and surreal subject matter. The audience has to think about what they are looking at and what it means to them and the artist. This is also part of the feelings being expressed through the artwork. Obviously, The audience will not exactly know what the artist was feeling and expressing at the time. However, this artwork can trigger the audiences emotions into having their own personal experience with the artwork. This might involve, memories and past events.

  12. bec stead said,

    ‘indefinite Divisibility’ by Yves Tanguy shows a typically surrealist view through the use of the subconsious images. The unusual juxtaposition of the objects within the work give a sence of abnormality and as though that was how the artist invisioned them to be.

    This work did not aim to be understood by viewers but instead to trigger an emotional connection with the work allowing the audience to have their own perceptions of it.

  13. Lauren Sillato said,

    Yves Tanguy Indefinite artwork “Divisibility” (1942) explores the inner thoughts and subconscious of the artist. One may not have the ability to relate to this random assemblage as its surrealists qualities have derived from ones inner imagination. The vivid colours and unclear subject matters may give the audience a sense of unawareness and loss. The work evokes emotions of uncertainty, which may be represented in the cloudy background. The work appears very realistic yet clearly represents fundamentals feelings of ones feelings, dreams and the sense of uncertainty that comes with any human conscience.

  14. Chelsea McDonald said,

    The painting “Indefinite Divisibility” by Yves Tanguy was painted in the year 1942. The time period of the surrealist movement. Surrealism is evident due to the subject matter which this artwork has. The unusual, juxtaposed objects reflect on the emotions and feelings of the artist. It is highly influenced by the subconscious and dreams.
    This artwork shows an unusual arrangement of objects which are all joined to create a sculpture. Although, the sculpture may not be recognizable because the objects may not be realistic, due to them coming from his mind. The hesitation in not knowing what the actual subject matter is, makes the artwork become more personal and different to others. The calm/cool colours may be a representation of emptiness and sadness.

  15. tom house said,

    The Painting ‘ Yves Tanguy Indefinite Divisibility’ is a subjective painting due to the subjective frame being used in the work, which creates instant affect to our senses and how we react when we see it, which is use of the subjective frame.

    The first reaction when looking at the work can be a psychological experience because the way it is painted is in an unusual juxtaposition kind of way with the basic landscape and the objects in the front, which are very modern kind of shapes assembled in an abstract kind of way. The unusual juxtaposition used helps to emphasize our sense’s being triggered when we look at the artwork and this technique is a common technique used is surrealism. Surrealism artworks were usually painted to represent what was occurring in the mind of the artist, they painted there own view of a topic, situation or anything that they would think of.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: