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Surrealist Art History

Surrealist Art History

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Surrealist Art History

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  1. Surrealist Art History ReneMagritte “The False Mirror”

  2. A Cultural Movement • Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for its visual artworks and writings acting as a celebration of the irrational unconscious. The founders of the art movement believed that Surrealism would advocate the idea that ordinary and depictive expressions are vital and important, but that the sense of their arrangement must be open to the full range of imagination. Rene Magritte “This is Not a Pipe”

  3. Inspiration and Main Themes • Inspired by Freudian dream logic, the major themes of Surrealism are displacement, condensation and fetish. Convulsive beauty, hysteria, and the sublime also are of interest. Surrealist art can be thought of as the visual poetry of the unconscious; allowing psychic automatism to take over and the free flow of ideas to create imagery. Chuck E. Bloom “A Desolate Rejoinder”

  4. Dream Logic • Dream-like imagery: Abstraction of objects in a dream-like sequence. Salvador Dali “Swans Reflecting Elephants” and “The Persistance of Memory”

  5. Dispacement • De-railing reality with familiar objects in unfamiliar places, changes in scale or environment. Rafal Obinski “Farewell Peter Pan” Rene Magritte “Personal Values”

  6. Condensation • Condensation: Two or more images or objects become one Frieda Khalo “The Little Deer” Max Ernst “ The Angel of Hearth and Home”

  7. Fetish • Fetish: Object Repetition and fetishization-abnormal or irrational commitment to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body etc. Surrealist collages by Max Ernst from “Une Semaine De Bonte” or “A Week of Kindness”

  8. Modern Times • Surrealists have often sought to link their efforts with political ideals and activities. The characteristics of this style—a combination of the depictive, the abstract, and the psychological—came to stand for the alienation which many people felt in the modern period. Surrealism as a visual movement had found a method: to expose psychological truth by stripping ordinary objects of their normal significance, in order to create a compelling image that was beyond ordinary formal organization, in order to evoke empathy from the viewer. George Grie “Panic Attack”

  9. Contemporary Connections • Many significant literary movements in the later half of the 20th century were directly or indirectly influenced by Surrealism. This period is known as the Postmodern era; though there's no widely agreed upon central definition of Postmodernism, many themes and techniques commonly identified as Postmodern are nearly identical to Surrealism. Jeffrey Michael Harp, Digital Collage