Surrealism was an artists movement inspired by the Dada movement. Meret Oppenheim Oppenheim's best known piece is Object (Le Dejeuner en fourrure) (1936). The sculpture consists of a teacup, saucer and spoon that the artist covered with fur from a Chinese gazelle. It is displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This became the symbol of Surrealism. Her originality and audacity established her as a leading figure in the surrealist movement. Dada and Surrealism
Introduction • The movement known as Dada was born in Zurich, Switzerland and was primarily created as a backlash to the traditional views of culture, art, and literature. • The first group of Dadaists sought to eliminate all forms of reason and logic due to the atrocities caused by World War I. • Art created during the Dada movement was to be interpreted freely by the viewer and was not based on the formal standards shown by earlier traditional artists. • The Dada movement was spread throughout Zurich, Berlin, New York, Paris, and the Netherlands and varied by form such as: poetry, art, literature, and music.
Dada • The complex nature of the Dada movement began as a negative response to society and, in turn, radically altered twentieth-century art. • The movement criticized conventional ideas of the use of mediums by utilizing prefabricated supplies, altering them slightly in order to obtain a different view of the piece. READY-MADE • Marcel Duchamp’s readymade, Fountain, a porcelain urinal in which the artist wrote R. Mutt on and submitted it to the Society of Independent Artists Exhibit in 1917. • The purpose of the Dada movement was viewed negatively and was “not intended to be creative: it is intended to cast discredit on creative activity”(Frey 12). • He proclaimed, “the creative act could be reduced to the choice of the mind rather than the act of the hand.” In other words, the viewer is involved in the creative act of interpretation a long with the artist. Marcel Duchamp Fountain, 1916-17
Jean Arp • Collage was another technique used by artists Hannah Hoch, Kurt Schwitters, and Jean Arp during the Dada movement. • Jean Arp’s Collage Arranged According to the Laws of Chance, completed in 1916, displays a random pattern of squares depicting the notion of escaping the rational world. • Arp’s collages differ greatly from the academic realm of art because of the way in which he created them. He did not use a formula he just drop his collage pieces and let them fall into place by chance. He declared that these works, like nature, were ordered according to the laws of chance. Jean Arp’s Collage Arranged According to the Laws of Chance, completed in 1916
Surrealism, in turn, was a positive movement which at first was solely focused around automatic writing, expressing the thought and subconscious of the artist. Surrealism was founded by Andre Breton in the 1920’s and stretched the human imagination revealing through artistic imagery a world of fantasy and dreams, not reality. Both Dada and Surrealism share the same purpose to explore avant-garde methods of creativity while rejecting the traditional standards of art. Surrealism
The art of the Surrealist movement was centered around the irrational and the subconscious, both depicting dream-like images. • When the Surrealist movement began in 1919 the main aspect of creativity was applied through automatic writing, which allowed irrational thoughts to be written through lack of reason and logic. • The way in which art was later depicted changed when artists began to document dreams through imagery in paintings. • The Surrealist approach to art depicts the artist’s inner thoughts and subconscious, digressing from the negatively charged Dada movement. • Art critics have described surrealism as a “search for the bizarre and marvelous”(Matthews 139) because of the whimsical and dream-like images found in paintings of this movement.
Overview:2 Forms of Surrealism 1.) Improvised Art - without conscious control. Artist Examples: Joan Miro – The Joy of Painting Max Ernst – Mother of Madness 2.) Realistic Techniques with dream-like scenes Artist Examples: Salvador Dali – Painting Paranoia Renee’ Magritte – Dream Visions Giorgio de Chirico – Metaphysical Painter Frida Kahlo – Wore her heart on her canvas.
Joan MiroThe Joy of Painting • Miro use the automatic style of painting. • Painted squiggles in a tranclike state; working spontaneously. “What really counts is to strip the soul naked.” Prudence thrown to the wind, nothing held back. • Invented unique biomorphic signs for natural objects (sun, moon, and animals); simplified into shorthand pictograms of geometric shapes and amoeba-like blobs – a mixture of fact and fantasy. BiographyGallery
Joan Miro Dutch Interior II Cosmic Ladder
Joan Miro • Joan Miro's painting Carnival of Harlequin, completed in 1924, displays a scene of brightly colored organic forms and shapes in a humorous manner. • The creatures or figures in Miro's paintings appear almost as if they are cartoons, taking up the entire canvas so that the viewer doesn't focus on merely one aspect of the scene. • Some of the shapes appear to be floating in the top corners of the canvas while others, such as the one on the left side, use ladders to climb up through the work. The figures in Miro's Carnival of Harlequin are "lively, remarkably vivid, and even the [his] inanimate objects have an eager vitality"(Arnason 295). Carnival of Harlequin, completed in 1924
Max ErnstMother of Madness • Experienced hallucinations as a child with a fever from measles. He found he could induce similar near-psychotic episodes (and adapt them in art) by staring fixedly until his mind wandered into some psychic netherworld. • Ernst had been a member of the Dadaists before joining the Surrealist Group. Many of his early works deliberately played with chance. BiographyGallery
One of the methods he used to stimulate his imagination was collage. He would bring together illustrations and photographs from widely different sources and stick them together to create strange new relationships. (see Celebes) Invented “fonttage” a new method for generating surprising imagery. This is rubbings from textured surfaces and embellished to produce fantastic, sometimes monstrous imagery. Grattage – scrapping into thick paint Max Ernstcollage, frottage and grattage techniques
Max ErnstEarly works • Max Ernst’s painting Celebes, which was completed in 1919, depicts an ambiguous creature that somewhat resembles an elephant. This painting is an example of the whimsical and bizarre imagery used during the Dada and Surrealism Movement. • In the bottom right corner of the painting, a headless body is beckoning the creature towards its direction, making the image disturbing as well as humorous. The main focus of Celebes is a fantastical creature whose body resembles a boiler. Max Ernst, Celebes, 1921
Based his technique on “critical paranoia” and explored his own neuroses. He was terrified of insects, of crossing streets, of trains, boats and airplanes, of taking the Metro – even of buying shoes because he couldn’t bear to expose his feet in public. He laughed hysterically and uncontrollably and carried a piece of driftwood at all times to ward off evil spirits. Salvador DaliSpanish, 1904 - 1989 Biography Gallery
With so rich a lode of irrational fears fueling his art, Dali placed a canvas at his bed and recorded what he called “hand-painted dream photographs” when he awoke. Instead of inventing new forms to symbolize the unconscious, he represented his hallucinations with meticulous realism. His recurrent nightmare of a rotting corps often appeared in his work. Salvador DaliPainting Paranoia http://youtu.be/q-HAyqUPmeo Biography
Dali is fascinated by the idea of multiple images; the way the same image can take on quite different meanings. In this paintingthe lake, with the strange splashat one end, can also be read as a fish on a table. In real life our own experiences constantly invest objects with double meanings such as a bunch of flowers meaning I love you, or I’m sorry. Dali tells us that his parents visited this lake after the death of their first child, who was also named Salvador. Dali was haunted by this dead brother he never knew. The telephone might be a symbol of trying to contact someone on the other side, someone who is absent. Dali painted this work in 1938 on the eve of World War Two. He has suggested the telephone relates to the negotiations in September 1938, between Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minster, and Adolph Hitler. In both the personal context of his dead brother and the international political situation, the telephone speaks of a lack of connection and of ultimate death. The fish floundering on the table ready to be cooked might represent the countries Hitler was about to march into and conquer. Mountain Lake, 1938 Salvador Dali
The Persistence of Memory • The Persistence of Memory, shows limp watches and a strange lump of indefinable flesh. Although metallic, the watches appear to be decomposing. A fly and cluster of jewel-like ants swarm over them. • Breton said, “With the coming of Dali, it is perhaps the first time that the mental windows have been opened really wide so that one can feel oneself gliding up toward the wild sky’s trap.” • Can you find the self portrait in this painting? The Persistence of Memory
Self Portrait with neck of Raphael, 1921 In both of these self portraits we see a sense of narcissism Dali’s self portraits (early works)
Dali painted this self-portrait during his eight-year-exile in the United States, where he had fled from the Spanish civil war. The, sometimes, childlike enthusiasm and the drive of the American society appealed to Dali and he had a most productive period there. Dali himself styles his self-portrait as "an anti-psychological self-portrait, instead of painting the soul, or the inner of oneself, to paint solely the appearance, the cover, my soul's glove. This glove of my soul can be eaten and is even a little sharp, like highbred game; therefor ants appear together with the fried bacon. As the most generous of all painters I continuously offer myself as food and thus give our era the most delicious delicacies” Self Portrait with Fried Bacon, 1941
Portrait of Frau Isabel Styler-Tas (Melencolia). 1945. Oil on canvas. 65.5 x 86 cm. Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany. Fifty Abstract Paintings Which as Seen from Two Yards Change into Three Lenins Masquerading as Chinese and as Seen from Six Yards Appear as the Head of a Royal Bengal Tiger. 1963. Oil on canvas. 200 x 229
The Surrealists wanted to create strange images in order to startle viewers into new ways of thinking about the world. They saw beauty in the most bizarre, unexpected combinations of things such as a lobster and a telephone. Salvador DALÍ Lobster telephone
Rene MagrittePronounced – Mah GREET GalleryBiography
(1898-1967) Dream Visions Painted disturbing, illogical images with startling clarity. Began as a commercial artist – he used this mastery of realism to defy logic. He placed everyday objects in incongruous settings and transformed them into electric shocks. Juxtaposed familiar sights in unnatural contexts. Renee MagritteDream Visions The False Mirror
Rene Magritte specialized in paintings of strange, imaginary scenes, often involving men in bowler hats. This one has hundreds of them hovering in the air above an ordinary—looking street. Gonconda. 1953. Oil on canvas. 81 x 100 cm. The Menil Collection, Houston, TX, USA.
The painting of a man in a gray overcoat and derby hat whose face is almost entirely hidden by a big green apple is one of the best-known works of Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte, 1898-1967. It is also the closest he was willing to come to answer a request for a self portrait. That tells us how little this marvelous artist cared for publicity and self-promotion, even though he was delighted to sell his work widely. If this painting looks familiar to us, it is because Magritte’s work has so strongly influenced not only other artists but also a great many people who did want to do publicity and promotion, advertising, design and films, during much of the last century. Magritte’s self portrait
Despite the strangeness of the scene, Magritte painted it in a very lifelike way. It is only the combination of things that makes it look absurd. Magritte loved painting ordinary things in ordinary situations. He said he wanted to play with the viewer’s expectations in order to “challenge the real world.
La Durée poignardée. 1938. Oil on canvas. 146 x 97 cm. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA. René Magritte. The Red Model. 1934. Oil on canvas. 183 x 136 cm. Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Italian, 1888 – 1978 Hailed by the Surrealists as their precursor, Italian painter, was painting nightmare fantasies fifteen years before Surrealism existed. Giorgio De Chirico Pronounced - KEY ree coh
Drawing on irrational childhood fears, De Chirico is known for his eerie cityscapes with empty arcades, raking light, and ominous shadows. The skewed perspective and nearly deserted squares inhabited by tiny, depersonalized figures project menace. In fact, with these paintings as his best evidence, De Chirico was exempted from military service as mentally unstable. On an early self-portrait he inscribed, “What shall I love if not the enigma?” Giorgio De Chirico Metaphysical Painter The Mystery and Melancholy of a Street
Immediately prior to World War I, the Greco-Italian painter, Giorgio de Chirico created enigmatic paintings in which he used a traditional style to describe not the external world, but haunting dreamscapes infused with illogical images, bizarre spatial constructions, and a pervasive melancholic mood. • He was greatly inspired by the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, who believed hidden realities were seen in such strange juxtapositions as the long shadows cast by the setting sun into large open city squares and onto public monuments. • De Chirico called his art "metaphysical," and with it hoped to destabilize the meaning of everyday objects by making them symbols of fear, alienation, and uncertainty. His paintings were highly influential for the Surrealists a decade later in their effort to create art from the unconscious. • Andromache refers to the beautiful and loyal wife of Hector, the Trojan warrior slain by Achilles in the Iliad. Here Andromache stands, reduced to simple ovoids, alone in a quiet, almost airless Italian piazza, her mood reflected in the dark shadows stretching across the square. The buildings, equally simplified, frame the image, lending it an almost stage-like quality. Andromache, 1916Oil on panel. 8 x 5 3/4 in. (20.3 x 14.6 cm)Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Paul Schectman, Class of 1935. 76.90
Ten years before publication of the Manifesto of Surrealism, the Italian artist DeChirco was extending the traditions of ‘realism’ in painting to describe dream worlds that contained aspects of his own life in scenes of melancholy and foreboding. He said he wished to combine ‘ in a single composition, scenes of contemporary life and visions of antiquity, producing a highly troubling dream of reality.’ In this painting the antique world is represented by a broken sculpture and the historic buildings and city square; whilst the contemporary is shown by the train steaming across the horizon and the bunch of bananas in the foreground. Trains for De Chirco evoked sadness of goodbyes and nostalgia for what was left behind, seeing them as almost magical in the way they transported loved ones or ourselves from one place to another. The liveliness of the train and the ripe bananas is contrasted with the cold, lifelessness of the shadowy buildings, made more sinister by the tilted perspective and geometric precision of the shadows. The two arches look like blind eyes. The female bust plays across these two extremes; the voluptuous body contrasted with its broken form and being made of cold, hard marble. The Uncertainty of the Poet. 1913
Giorgio de Chirico. Piazza d'Italia. 1913. Oil on canvas. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada. Giorgio de Chirico. The Disquieting Muses. 1918. Oil on canvas. Private collection.
Frida KahloPronounced – FREE-da KAH –lo • Frida Kahlo (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954) was a Mexican painter. • In 1925, a trolley car collided with a bus Kahlo was riding; an iron handrail impaled her, broke her spine, and exited through her lower body. • She survived her injuries and eventually regained her ability to walk, but she would have relapses of extreme pain which would plague her for life. • After the accident, Kahlo turned her attention from a medical career to painting. GalleryBiography
Frida Kahlo“Wore her heart on her canvas.” • Drawing on her personal experiences, her works are often shocking in their stark portrayal of pain and the harsh lives of women. • Fifty-five of her 143 paintings are self-portraits that incorporate personal symbolism complete with graphic anatomical references. • She was also influenced by indigenous Mexican culture, aspects of which she portrayed in bright colors, with a mixture of realism and symbolism.
In constant pain due to an earlier accident while riding a bus it collided with a trolley – resulting in 32 operations in 26 years on her back and leg – her leg was later amputated and she The bulk of her 200 paintings were fantasized self-portraits, dealing with subjects seldom tested in Western art: childbirth, miscarriage, abortion. She delighted in role-playing and wore colorful Mexican costumes, basing her painting style on indigenous folk art and Roman Catholic devotional images.
Twice she married Diego Rivera (dee-A-go Riv-ERR-a) a famous Mexican Muralist. She had a constant obsession with him. Because of her injuries and her husband’s many affairs, Kahlo’s paintings tell the story of her physical and emotional pain. The Two Fridas. 1939. Oil on canvas. 170 x 170 cm. Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico
At her first one woman show, Kahlo’s doctor said she was too ill to attend, so she had herself carried in on a stretcher as part of the exhibit. Kahlo died soon after. When they pushed her body into the oven to be cremated, the intense heat snapped her corpse up to a sitting position. Her hair blazed in a ring of fire around her head. “She looked,” painter David Siqueiros said, “as if she were smiling in the center of a sunflower.” Frida Kahlo. The Dream. 1940. Oil on canvas. 74 x 98.5 cm Private collection. Frida Kahlo. Without Hope. 1945. Oil on canvas mounted on Masonite. 28 x 36 cm. Dolores Olmedo Foundation, Mexico City, Mexico.
Frida disagreed with being labeled a surrealist because she said, “I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.” Frida Kahlo. The Dream. 1940. Oil on canvas. 74 x 98.5 cm Private collection.
Her work is a rare blend of true emotion, heartbreak, love, and life, as well as death. Most of her paintings were self-portraits. She said, "I paint self-portraits because I am the person I know best. I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other considerations." • Her paintings are very open and honest. They reflect her emotions, the events in her life, changes in her feelings---whether good or bad. She recorded her life in paint. • Her imagery and style were very original, dramatic, and courageous. • Her husband, the famous Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, said: "Frida is the only example in the history of art of an artist who tore open her chest and heart to reveal the biological truth of her feelings. The only woman who has expressed in her work an art of the feelings, functions, and creative power of woman."