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Ariel Furman

on 8 May 2014

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Transcript of Surrealism

Max Ernst
Artistic Context
Developed from
, an art movement that came out of the European Avant-Garde in the early 20th century.
Born out of the negative reactions to the horrors taking place during WWI
They believed that "
" and "
" of capitalist society led to war
Surrealism less violent and more artistically based
In a post war era, stemming from dadaism, Surrealism stressed the
, the
nonrational meaning behind imagery
, the
exploitation of chance effects
unexpected juxtapositions
and more. It was a new time of art.
"There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad." -Dali
Thank you!
Aim of Surrealism
To resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dreams and reality
Aims to express the real function of thought without regard to morals, reality, or reason
Interested in the liberation of unconscious and subconscious thoughts and desires, the child’s view of the world, and that of the mentally disturbed
Historical Context
Started in Europe in the 1920's with its core in Paris
Officially founded in 1924 when André Breton wrote
Surrealist Manifesto
Initially a literary movement
The first exhibition of surrealist painting was held in Paris in 1925, but its ideas were rejected in Europe
Political Context
Post-war atmosphere of the 1920s created a breeding ground for totalitarian regimes in Europe
Surrealism became a revolutionary movement not only in art and literature, but also in politics
New ideas led to a belief in the non-traditional and saw the irrational as preferable to the rational in all aspects: art, life, and civilization
René Magritte
Joan Miró
Main Characteristics
"The Marvelous"
Dreams and the subconscious
Unexpected juxtapositions
Element of surprise/spontaneity
Beauty as a "disturbance of the senses"

Grew up in Barri Gotic in Barcelona
Began drawing classes at age 7
Enrolled at the fine art academy at La Llotja, to the dismay of his father
First solo show in 1918 at the Dalmau Gallery, where his work was ridiculed and defaced
Joined surrealism movement in 1924 and began experimenting with collage and the process of painting
Employed Automatism in many of his works
Harlequin Carnival, 1925
The Farm, 1921

Surrealist technique involving spontaneous writing, drawing, or the like practiced without conscious aesthetic or moral self-censorship
Dissociation between behavior and consciousness
André Breton
Born in Normandy, originally studied medicine and psychiatry
Moved to Paris in 1922
Founded Surrealism with his writing
Surrealist Manifesto
in 1924, in which he defined surrealism as "pure psychic automatism"
At first reluctant to align with visual artists because he believed that the laborious processes of painting, drawing, and sculpting were at odds with the spontaneity of uninhibited expression
Breton defined Surrealism as “Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express…the actual functioning of thought…in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.”
"The marvelous is always beautiful, anything marvelous is beautiful, in fact only the marvelous is beautiful."
The Poem-Object 1941
“It has in it all that you feel about Spain when you are there and all that you feel when you are away and cannot go there.”- Ernest Hemingway
Born in Germany, one of nine children
First learned painting from his father and never received any formal training
Profoundly impacted by the horrors of World War I, as were most surrealists
Leader in Dada movement until his move to Paris in 1922 where he became a founder of Surrealism
Used many techniques including decalcomania and frottage, among others
Process of spreading thick paint upon canvas, paper, or other material then—while it is still wet—covering it with material such as paper or aluminium foil and applying uneven pressure
The covering is then removed (before the paint dries), and the resultant paint pattern becomes the basis of the finished painting
The act of laying paper on the floor and rubbing over it with pencil to create the textural effect of wood, fabric, leaves, etc.
The emphasis on the contact between materials is central to Surrealism's ideal of automatism
The Elephant Cebeles, 1921
Napoleon in the Wilderness, 1941
Salvador Dalí
Lived 1904-1989. Born in Figueres, Spain
Dali was known for his technical skill and his shocking imagination.
In 1929, he joined the surrealist movement and became the movement's most prominent and controversial artist.
Intrigued by Freud's ideas about sexual repression taking the form of
dreams and delusions
he was fascinated with trying to capture these dreams in art.
He created the
paranoiac critical method
The Persistence of Memory, 1931
Metamorphosis of Narcissus, 1937
Lived 1898-1967
Belgian surrealist artist known for witty and thought provoking images
He tried to challenge people's preconceived perceptions of reality
He took everyday normal objects and he simply rearranged the figures and locations to force the viewer to take a deeper look at what was in front of them, and at what the image truly represented.
The Son of Man, 1946
The Treachery of Images, 1928-29
Paranoiac Critical Method
Dalí was interested in the aspect of paranoia that the brain has the ability to perceive links between things that rationally are not linked.
"spontaneous method of irrational knowledge based on the critical and systematic objectivity of the associations and interpretations of delirious phenomena."
Full transcript