“Ready made” by Alphonse Allais: a funny and daring work!

Published on : 17 May 20213 min reading time
Having lived during the Belle Époque, Alphonse Allais is known for his quality as a journalist and writer. But with his humorous side, he is also considered to be among the precursors of monochrome painting. Discover his works of incoherent art. All this can be done directly online.

“Ready made” and works of art

It was French artist Marcel Duchamp who used the term ‘ready made’ to describe these works. “Ready made” is the elevation of an apparently banal object to the status of a work of art. The choice is made on the basis of the quality of the artist. Thus, an everyday object will no longer be seen for its utilitarian aspect once an artist appropriates it to make a work of art. Among the best known, you can see “the bicycle wheel”, “air de Paris”, or “La belle haleine. Eau de violette”. The ready-made or incoherent art is therefore based on the importance that an artist gives to an object.

The works of Alphonse Allais

French journalist, writer and humorist, Alphonse Allais is known for his skill with words, letters and rhymes. But the artist also found a place for himself in painting. He is known for his monochrome works. Indeed, he was inspired by an exhibition of incoherent art. During this exhibition, he discovered a black monochrome canvas: “Combat of the Negroes in a cellar during the night”. For the second exhibition, he exhibited a bristol board without stains or lines. He gave this work a rather funny name. Later on, he used seven colours to express himself. Alphonse Allais‘ monochromes certainly bring out the humorous side of the artist, but they are also thought-provoking. For example, the “Stupeur de jeunes recrues apercevant pour la première fois ton azur ô, Méditerranée” is expressed in a blue canvas.

The “Album primoavrilesque

Alphonse Allais collected his paintings in his “Album primoavrilesque” published in 1897. Accompanied by a preface by the author, this album bears witness to the artist’s astonishing imagination. This challenged art in its official sense. Several socio-professional categories are caricatured in a cynical way. For example, the “Stubborn round in the fog” is just represented by the colour grey. A blank score describes the funeral march of a large deaf man. This bold freedom of expression gives Alphonse Allais’s ‘Ready made‘ a funny and speculative touch.

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