What is Surrealism?• A 20th-century avant-garde movement in art and literature that sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind.
Intro to Surrealism• 1920’s-1930’s after WWI.• Surrealism developed out of the avant-garde Dada movement.• Dada was more violent and less artistically based compared to Surrealism.• It began in Paris in 1924 with Andre Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto.
Andre Breton• 1896-1966• He was a Dadaist and a Communist.• Founding father and leader of the Surrealist movement.• “Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one expresses… the actual functioning of thought.”
Sigmund Freud• Freud has many theories on free association, dream analysis, and the unconscious.• Psychoanalytic interpretation; used to illuminate unconscious mind.
Intro to Surrealism• Let go of traditional ways of painting.• Used drugs, alcohol, hypnotism, and hallucinations to provoke the subconscious.• A combination of dreams and reality.• Investigated the mind and new areas of art.
Automatists• The way in which the images of the subconscious reached the conscious.• Focused on feeling.• Did not believe in meaning. Andre Masson Automatic Drawing 1924
Veristic• Shows the dream world.• Deep meanings.• Subconscious surfaces to the conscious mind where it can be deciphered. Sleep Salvador Dali 1937
Max Ernst• 1891-1976• German-born artist who often worked with sculpture, painting, and collages.• Founder of two surrealist techniques decalcomania and frottage.
Influences• Surrealism taught the world to see art not merely visually and literally; but to appreciate it in a subconscious level as well.• Made America the art capital.• Resulted in Abstract Expressionism as well as other movements.
Summary• Surrealism started from the Dada movement with Andre Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto.• It focused on painting images from the subconscious.• It was influenced by Freudian Theories.• There were two types: Veristic and Automatic.• Lead into Abstract Expressionism and other movements.