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Wisdom Trumps

Wisdom Trumps Violence - Surreal Oil Painting with a Leopard, an Owl, and a Man
By Christopher Klein
Located in Chicago, IL
. Christopher A. Klein Wisdom Trumps Violence oil on linen 20h x 16w in 50.80h x 40.64w cm Christopher A. Klein

21st Century and Contemporary Surrealist Landscape Paintings


Linen, Oil

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Christopher Klein for sale on 1stDibs

Christopher Klein was a former illustrator for National Geographic Magazine. Klein was born in 1954, Washington DC. Klein spent 26 years at National Geographic Magazine. His career at National Geographic brought him around the world. He lived with people from Egypt to South America, studied history and artifacts of ancient times and delved into the intricacies of creatures like tarantulas and horseshoe crabs. His research transformed into illustrations filling the pages of National Geographic Magazine. In retirement, he is back to his surrealistic roots combining his love of surrealism with the breadth of his life experience. “Surrealism is a way for me to create my own world,” says Klein. “Whether it be an archeological recreation, deep sea representation, or a futuristic scene, my use of realistic juxtapositions proved to be my key to scientific art with the National Geographic Society. My ability to render in high detail and a vivid imagination are the prerequisites for creating accurate paintings of historic people, the places they lived and worshipped, as well as the inner workings of both animals and machines. After 26 years of scientific art, my work is now going full circle back to my fine art roots in surrealism, now reflecting realistic images in unnatural settings or unnatural images in even more bizarre environments.”

A Close Look at Surrealist Art

In the wake of World War I’s ravaging of Europe, artists delved into the unconscious mind to confront and grapple with this reality. Poet and critic André Breton, a leader of the Surrealist movement who authored the 1924 Surrealist Manifesto, called this approach “a violent reaction against the impoverishment and sterility of thought processes that resulted from centuries of rationalism.” Surrealist art emerged in the 1920s with dreamlike and uncanny imagery guided by a variety of techniques such as automatic drawing, which can be likened to a stream of consciousness, to channel psychological experiences.

Although Surrealism was a groundbreaking approach for European art, its practitioners were inspired by Indigenous art and ancient mysticism for reenvisioning how sculptures, paintings, prints, performance art and more could respond to the unsettled world around them.

Surrealist artists were also informed by the Dada movement, which originated in 1916 Zurich and embraced absurdity over the logic that had propelled modernity into violence. Some of the Surrealists had witnessed this firsthand, such as Max Ernst, who served in the trenches during World War I, and Salvador Dalí, whose otherworldly paintings and other work responded to the dawning civil war in Spain.

Other key artists associated with the revolutionary art and literary movement included Man Ray, Joan Miró, René Magritte, Yves Tanguy, Frida Kahlo and Meret Oppenheim, all of whom had a distinct perspective on reimagining reality and freeing the unconscious mind from the conventions and restrictions of rational thought. Pablo Picasso showed some of his works in “La Peinture Surréaliste” — the first collective exhibition of Surrealist painting — which opened at Paris’s Galerie Pierre in November of 1925. (Although Magritte is best known as one of the visual Surrealist movement’s most talented practitioners, his famous 1943 painting, The Fifth Season, can be interpreted as a formal break from Surrealism.)

The outbreak of World War II led many in the movement to flee Europe for the Americas, further spreading Surrealism abroad. Generations of modern and contemporary artists were subsequently influenced by the richly symbolic and unearthly imagery of Surrealism, from Joseph Cornell to Arshile Gorky.

Find a collection of original Surrealist paintings, sculptures, prints and multiples and more art on 1stDibs.

Finding the Right animal-paintings for You

Animal paintings depict the beauty and power of nature in an elegant way that can complement any room. Interacting with animals has long captured the imagination and has been interpreted in diverse artistic media.

Some of the oldest works of art have included animals, such as a cave painting found in Indonesia dating back more than 45,500 years that shows a wild pig in red ocher pigment. Animals have continued to appear in every era and style of art, from realism to Pop art and everything in between.

Some paintings portray animals in their natural habitat, highlighting the majesty of wild creatures roaming the plains, forests and jungles. These paintings often feature deer, tigers, wild mustangs and other wildlife. Others focus on domestic animals such as dogs — pay a visit to the Museum of the Dog if you don’t believe us — as well as cats and how they interact with the world and their owners.

Picking the right animal painting for a room — as well as knowing how to arrange your new wall art — can take time. But, in the end, it will tastefully reflect your interests and passions. While an expansive landscape painting helps open up a small space, hanging a horse painting in a den shows a love for equine culture and can invite interesting conversation.

There is animal art to fit every collection on 1stDibs. Explore a wide selection of animal paintings and animal prints in a range of styles and designs to match any home or office.