The Fractalist Movement Return

This is both a movement of contemporary painters and a web event. These painters assembled behind the name "Art and Complexity Group" and they were introduced to the public as "fractalist painters" by the virtual gallery Nart, together with an exhibition by eleven of them. The highlight of the operation was a auction sale of the exhibited works on the web, in early 1998, but the exhibition remained in place in the website. It could be that the Nart gallery was inspired by the great success in the media of a previous virtual auction sale, organized at the end of 1996 by Fred Forest, but whereas in the latter everything was virtual (including the sold artwork), the fractalist paintings are truly real.

About thirty paintings are shown on the Nart website and they are accompanied with various texts, self-presentations by the artists, general comment papers written by a journalist (Henri François Debailleux), a philosopher (Christine Buci Glucksmann) and a writer (Susan Condé), and the manifesto of the movement, translated below. For a sampling, if you are not patient enough to explore the Nart website, you may click on the names of some of these painters, Pascal Dombis, Carlos Ginzburg, Yvan Rebyj, Pierre Zarcate, to see their pages in the site, together with some of their works.

The manifesto of the Art and Complexity Group ( if in doubt, see the French text)

  1. We are gathering on the ground of common proposals. Through our works, this group asserts the paradigm of the chaotic-fractal complexity.
  2. First of all, the problematics of Art and Complexity is a visual organization, the potential for a boundless construction in an endless process.
  3. Our fractalist activity emerges through universes full of random proliferous shapes.
  4. We are giving up the Euclidean rationality to the benefit of unexpected and unplanned processes.
  5. The labyrinthic vision and its random path propose to rebuild the imagination and to open a new perspective.
  6. In the order-disorder spiral, the work is the ephemeral emergence of a hybridation and a crossing.
  7. The fractalist activity, from painting to the most recent technologies, crystallizes a materialization field for lattices, scale plays, proliferation, self-similarity, hybridation, recursivity, lossy structures, butterfly effect, strange attractors, infinitization.
  8. All our works are maximalist. This is through the excess of informations that one reaches the fractal vertigo.
  9. The paradigm of the chaotic-fractal complexity constitutes the privileged dynamics of the modern research for practices and knowledge.
  10. We now enter a complete rebirth of the creation model.

I do not comment this manifesto but emphasize the importance given to fractals

Two forerunners

At least two famous artists, Jackson Pollock and Mark Tobey, could be regarded as forerunners of this movement (the former was already quoted by Christine Buci Glucksmann), at least in a few of their paintings, as shown below. It is difficult to say more without seeing the real works. The two "details" below are roughly 40 x 55 cm and 23 x 32 cm in the real world, while the fractalist works linked above are around 1 m x 2 m. All these reproductionsare far too small on the screen.

detail of Cathedral
Jackson Pollock, 1947
detail of Shadow Spirits of the Forest,
Mark Tobey, 1961

These two paintings were done well before the Mandelbrot discoveries. Of course, as the Michael Barnsley book says, Fractals (are) Everywhere, and it was always possible to make fractals without knowing it.


Preceding Page

[ Return to home page ]    [ Art and Fractals Contents ]

Discovering the fractal world:
Introduction - Mandelbrot Exploration - Lyapounov Exploration - Von Koch Curves - IFS Fractals - Fractal Dimension - Mandelbrot Relatives - Finest Fractal Pictures - Software - Biblio and Links

Fractals and mysticism:
Introduction - The Mysticism of Infinite - Non-Euclidean Art?

A new Art?
Introduction - Fascination of Fractals - Fractals and Photography - Definitions of Art - The Colour Choice - Other Colour Choices - Fractalists Painters - Compositions with Mandelbrot - Put a pretty girl - Algorithmic Art - Beyond the "Fractal" Art





Here is the French text of the manifesto: Return

  1. C'est en fonction de propositions communes que nous nous regroupons. Ce collectif affirme avec ses Žuvres, le paradigme de la complexité chaotique-fractale.
  2. La problématique d'Art et Complexité est d'abord et avant tout une organisation visuelle, le potentiel à une construction sans limite dans un processus sans fin.
  3. Notre activité fractaliste se manifeste au travers d'univers où abondent les formes aléatoires et proliférantes.
  4. Nous abandonnons la rationalité euclidienne au profit de processus imprévus et non programmés.
  5. La vision labyrinthique et son parcours aléatoire se proposent de reconstruire l'imaginaire et d'ouvrir une perspective nouvelle.
  6. Dans la spirale ordres-désordres, l'Žuvre est l'émergence éphémère d'une hybridation, un passage.
  7. L'activité fractaliste, de la peinture aux nouvelles technologies, cristallise un champ où se matérialisent : réseaux - jeux d'échelles - prolifération - autosimilarité - hybridation - récursivité structures dissipatrices - effet papillon attracteurs étranges - infinitisation.
  8. Toutes nos oeuvres sont maximalistes, c'est par l'excès d'informations que l'on accède au vertige fractal.
  9. Le paradigme de la complexité chaotique-fractale constitue la dynamique privilégiée de la recherche contemporaine des pratiques et du savoir.
  10. Aujourd'hui, nous nous engageons dans un renouveau radical du modèle de création.