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Surrealism

The Tate art gallery defines Surrealism as a movement which began in the 1920s of writers and artists (including Salvador Dali and René Magritte), who experimented with ways of unleashing the subconscious imagination. Surrealism, as the name suggests, was a literary and artistic movement that experimented with unleashing the unbridled imaginations of the mind's eye. The cerebral and irrational paradigms of Surrealism find their ancestry in the clever and whimsical disregard for tradition fostered by Dadaism Although it inherited its anti- rationalist sensibility from Dada, surrealism was lighter in spirit than that movement. The general idea of surrealism is recalcitrance. This nonconformity was not as extreme as that of Dada since surrealism was still considered to be art The movement represented a reaction against what its members saw as the destruction wrought by the rationalism that had guided European culture and politics in the past and had culminated in the horrors of World War I. Continued thought processes and investigations into the mind produce today some of the best art ever seen.

of World War I. Continued thought processes and investigations into the mind produce today some of

Surrealism was founded in Paris in 1924 by André Breton with his Manifesto of Surrealism, and the major artists of the movement were Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, René Magritte and Joan Miró. Surrealism’s impact on popular culture can still be felt today, most visibly in advertising. Surrealists strongly embraced the ideas of Sigmund Freud, but two different interpretations of his ideas lead to two different types of Surrealists, Automatists and Veristic Surrealists. Automatists focused their work more on feeling and were less investigative. They believed automatism to be “the automatic way in which the images of the subconscious reach the conscious”. Automatists thought that abstract art was the only way to convey images of the subconscious, and that a lack of form was a way to rebel against traditional art. On the other side Veristic Surrealists believed subconscious images were a metaphor that, if studied, could enable the world to be understood. They also believed that the language of the subconscious world was in the form of image. While their work may look similar, Automatists only see art where Veristic Surrealists see meaning.

only see art where Veristic Surrealists see meaning. Surrealism evokes bizarre, dreamlike imagery and complex

Surrealism evokes bizarre, dreamlike imagery and complex psychological allusions, yet the creative methods employed by many surrealist artists couldn’t have been more ordinary and accessible.

Automatic drawing is the act of drawing automatically or aimlessly, that is, without thinking. For the surrealists, the resultant imagery could provide a window to one's subconscious and reveal an alternative form of visual expression that challenged calculated forms of the rational status quo.

Frottage involves rubbing graphite (or other drawing media) on paper that is placed on a textured surface, such as a wood floor, string, or leaves as a means to lift textures from the real world without drawing them.

Collage involves the gluing of pieces of paper together, to create eerie scenarios through the unlikely juxtaposition of everyday images.

Decalcomania artists apply gouache to a sheet of paper and/or stencil and then press it with another sheet, creating a shifted image that is revealed when the sheets are pulled apart. (Décalquer means to transfer an image in French.)

apart. (Décalquer means to transfer an image in French.) The Surrealist art movement opened the doors

The Surrealist art movement opened the doors to a style of art that the world had never before seen. Odd techniques were used to paint and interpret images and even though many Surrealist artists used traditional means of painting, they developed techniques to bring metaphor and meaning into their work. The obvious may have been stated but the meaning to Surrealist art was symbolic and often open to interpretation. This style and technique received much rejection by the art world but was eventually accepted and paved the way for other expressive forms of art. Not surprisingly, in its attempt to produce works of art untainted by bourgeois rationalism, Surrealism was responsible for a host of incredibly innovative but

often bizarre, and sometimes unintelligible compositions. Nonetheless, Surrealism was (and continues to be) highly appealing both to artists and the public. Indeed, in its iconic pictures and its impact on modern art, Surrealism has established itself as one of the 20th century's most enduring movements.