05 January 2008


grat·tage (gră-tazh') n. A surrealist technique in painting in which (usually dry) paint is scraped off the canvas. It was employed by Max Ernst and Joan Miró. [< Fr. "scraping"]

"With Miro's help, Max Ernst pioneered grattage in which he troweled pigment from his canvases." ~ surrealism.org

Examples: Grattage works by Mario Deluigi.

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Mario Deluigi (1901-1978); oil on wood, 1955, 48" x 48"
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"It is not exact: my procedure involves spreading the chromatic values in such a way as to retrieve them when I scrape. So it is not that I go digging for the white, I might find pink, green, black or any other color that I deliberately put there. This is precisely what I do: spread the colors according to a prior chromatic plan, then as a next step, discover the soul of this or that color -- which has a light, one that I must construct -- which is why I cannot make a mark more imposing than that which occurs in the pre-ordained plan." ~ Mario Deluigi


Steven LaRose said...

I'm thankful that you did some research for me.

Helquin said...

For some reason, the word "grattage" was coming up quite a bit last week, mostly in reference to Ernst. Deluigi is new to me. He really shines in his Grattage period.