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Term first used in 1917 by Guillaume Apollinaire in the program notes of his ballet Began as a literary movement strongly allied to Dadaism Originated in Paris in the late 1920’s Officially founded by Andre Breton with the publication of ‘The Surrealist Manifesto’ in 1924 Influenced by Sigmund Freud's psychological theories of the unconscious mind and free association. Surrealism
Developments during the 1920s-30s Post World War I Time of political, social and economic change 1917 Russian Communist Revolutions 1918 Women over 30 given the vote in the UK 1928 Discovery of penicillin 1929 The Great Depression 1920s-30s Invention of radio, television and vacuum cleaners
‘Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express - verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner - the actual functioning of thought’- Andre Breton, The Surrealist Manifesto The Surrealist Manifesto Surrealism aims to defy rationalism and realism and focus on the imagination. Surrealism is defined by two groups: Automatist surrealists believed automatism was the suppression of consciousness in favour of the subconscious mind. Verisitic surrealists believed automatism was that the images of the subconscious should be allowed to surface undisturbed
Key Artists of The Surrealist Movement Salvador Dali Man Ray Rene Magritte Max Ernst Joan Miro Marcel Duchamp Yves Tanguy
Salvador Dali- The Persistence of Memory (1931) One of Dali’s most iconic works. The rocks and landscape from his home are represented in the backdrop. The dream like scene was inspired by the sight of melting cheese. It symbolises the passing of time and mortality. The soft watches symbolise the relativity of space and time.
Rene Magritte- The Treachery of Images (1928-29) One of Rene Magritte’s most famous paintings it depicts a pipe with the statement ‘This is not a pipe’ underneath in French. The meaning of this work is that the painting itself is not a pipe, it is a painting, and is designed to make the viewer question reality.
Rene Magritte- The Son of Man (1964) The painting is a self portrait of the artist. The face is obscured and the left arm is bending backwards. The painting represents humanity. Magritte believed that everything we see hides another thing which we wish to see. He was interested in the conflict between visible and hidden.
Max Ernst- The Elephant Celebes (1921) Ernst modelled the elephant in the painting after an African grain bin, and the title is based on a childish German rhyme. He was influenced by Chirico and the idea of bringing together unrelated objects in strange settings. The painting used Freud's methods of free association and unconscious thought, which was why it was so popular with other surrealist painters.
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