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on 10 February 2016

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Transcript of Surrealism

How did Surrealism Start?
Its name derived from the phrase Drame surrealiste, the sub-title of a 1917 play by the writer and art critic Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918).
Surrealism evolved out of the nihilistic "anti-art" Dada movement
Surrealism was less overtly political and advocated a more positive philosophy - summed up by André Breton as :
"thought expressed in the absence of any control exerted by reason, and outside all moral and aesthetic considerations."
Initially started in literature and rapidly broadened to encompass painting, sculpture and other forms of contemporary visual art.


Theories of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939
Breton and other surrealists were highly impressed with Freud's insights into the unconscious, which they thought would be a major source of untapped pictures and imagery.
Who Founded Surrealism?

What are the ideas, processes and intent of 'Surreal' Artists?
Whose work are you most intrigued by and why?

How and why did it start? Who Started it?
Influences and Connections?

Salvador Dali Rene Magritte

The interest lies in the psychological depiction of man rather than anatomical representation. The merging of the conscious and subconscious mind.Representational
and abstract works of art.
Introduced and defined the new style in his 1924 manifesto (Manifeste du Surrealisme) and later in his painting bulletin (Surrealisme et la Peinture).
Breton deplored the nihilistic and destructive character of Dada, but built on many Dada ideas to create a movement with a coherent, though doctrinaire philosophy with a goal to achieve:

Andre Breton
'Pope of Surrealism'

19th century Symbolism movement and the Italian school of Metaphysical Painting, originated by Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978).

Esoteric references and hidden or unconscious meanings, was an important source of imagery and forms.
Surrealism sprang up in Paris and became embedded in the avant-garde art world (of which Paris was still the world centre).
During the 1930s, some left the movement, while others joined. Then, during the war, many members fled to America where they had a significant impact on US contemporary art, before returning to Paris in the late 1940s early 1950s.

a total transformation of the way people thought, by By breaking down the barriers between their inner and outer worlds, in order to free mankind from the bourgeois shackles of logic and reason which thus far had led only to war and domination
These artists produced the most memorable
pictures that helped establish the visual style that aimed to explore psychological truth by detaching ordinary objects from their normal context (juxtaposition)
Persistence of Memory
The Son of Man
The Artists:
How did it Spread?
Yves Tanguy
Molten forms and liquid shapes
known for non representational surrealist style that depicts
vast abstract landscapes

Andre Masson

Influenced by appalling experiences in World War I; obsessed by the domination of the rule of tooth an claw in all life, animal or human, and his work is a release of the violence of base instincts, as illustrated by "Battle of Fishes" (1926).
In 1926 he began exploiting chance and accident as 32 part of his technique: he would scatter sand over canvases
previously spread in haphazard areas with glue, and then, at great speed, orchestrate their random configurations and textures into loose patterns of brushwork and colour.
Joan Miro
His work was a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride.
Miró expressed contempt for conventional painting methods as a way of supporting bourgeois society, and famously declared an "assassination of painting" in favour of upsetting the visual elements of established painting.
Valentine Hugo

Eileen Agar
Leonor Fini
Jacqueline Breton
Frida Kahlo
French Painter and Illustrator.
She met the surrealists around 1928 and actively participated in the movement between 1930 and 1936.

The foremost illustrator of Paul Éluard's work, she first exhibited with the surrealists in the Salon des Surindépendants of 1933
Many of her paintings feature strong, beautiful women in ceremonial or provocative situations. Men are often portrayed as lithe figures who are under the protection of her females. The sphinx and cats play major parts in her paintings, as does the theme of 'the double'.

She was equally adept at etching, drawing, watercolor and oil painting. She lived with many cats; up to a total of 23 at one time. The illness of one of her cats could send her into a deep depression.
They are mainly objects, collage and collective drawings, in which appears the abstract tendency of all her later work. The few more interesting paintings date back to her first years in America, from 1942 to 1944, when Jacqueline Lamba created fractal shapes: crystals, prisms, polyhedrons, and shapes
She gave her birth date as July 7, 1910, but her birth certificate shows July 6, 1907. Kahlo had allegedly wanted the year of her birth to coincide with the year of the beginning of the Mexican Revolution so that her life would begin with the birth of modern Mexico. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form

Agar exhibited with the Surrealists in England and abroad. She started to experiment with
techniques and new materials, taking photographs and making collages and objects. "The Angel of Anarchy" (fabric over plaster and mixed media) is an example from 1936–40. It now appears at the Tate.
Visual Devices:
Unlikely placement or combinationof objects
Floating objects
One object transforming
into another
Melting objects
Unrealistic size/scale:
Objects represented in an
unnatural scale in relation to others
1 Aerography
2 Automatism
3 Bulletism
4 Calligramme
5 Collage
6 Coulage
7 Cubomania
8 Cut-up technique
9 Decalcomania
10 Dream résumé
11 Echo poem
12 Éclaboussure
13 Entopic graphomania
14 Étrécissements
15 Exquisite corpse

16 Frottage
17 Fumage
18 Games
19 Grattage
20 Heatage
21 Indecipherable writing
22 Involuntary sculpture
23 Latent news
24 Movement of liquid down a vertical surface
25 Outagraphy
26 Paranoiac-critical method
27 Parsemage
28 Photomontage
29 Soufflage
30 Surautomatism
31 Triptography
to free imagination by producing a creative process free of conscious control.
Some Surrealists consider
and games to be sources of inspiration only, while others consider them starting points for finished works. Others consider the items created through automatism to be finished works themselves, needing no further refinement.
Exit Ticket:
What are the visual characteristics of Surreal Art?

Whose work stands out to you
the most and why?

What connections can you make?
Love Song, 1914
Disquieting Muses, 1916
Full transcript