Surrealism THE ART OF DREAMS
1920’s The Cultural Climate • POST-WWl • Art/Dadaism Surrealism developed out of the Dada activities during World War I. • Philosophy: Freud and the Dream “Dreams are the key to theoretical understanding of the subconscious” “Dreams are the Royal Road of the unconscious”
Dada,Dada,Dada,Dada,Dada,Dada….. Dada was an international movement in protest of the cultural and intellectual conformities of the WWl era. The Dada movement was a protest against the barbarism of World War I, the bourgeois interests that Dadaists believed inspired the war, and what they believed was an oppressive intellectual rigidity in both art and everyday life. The movement involved visual arts, literature, poetry, art manifestoes, art theory, theatre, and graphic design, and promoted its anti-war politics by rejecting the traditional standards in art with what they deemed anti-art. The dada movement ignored traditional aesthetics by creating works that were intended to reject ALL forced notions of what art should be.
Surrealism….. A movement launched in Paris by the poet Andrea Breton based on searching “beyond the real” or the surreality of the subconscious mind. Artworks often convey a dream-like quality through bizarre juxtapositions of incongruous elements rendered in realistic detail. Based on Freudian theory and influenced by the effects of WWl, the art produced often provokes ambiguous, disconcerting and unsettling feelings. Branches diverge from highly abstract to naturalistic renderings, often with personal, unexplainable symbols.
The Surrealists manifesto FromLe Manifeste du Surréalisme, 1924 ANDRÉ BRETON “We are still living under the reign of logic, but the logical processes of our time apply only to the solution of problems of secondary interest. The absolute rationalism which remains in fashion allows for the consideration of only those facts narrowly relevant to our experience. Logical conclusions, on the other hand, escape us. Needless to say, boundaries have been assigned even to ex- perience. It revolves in a cage from which release is becoming increasingly difficult. It too depends upon immediate utility and is guarded by common sense. In the guise of civilization, under the pretext of progress, we have succeeded in dismissing from our minds anything that, rightly or wrongly, could be regarded as superstition or myth; and we have proscribed every way of seeking the truth which does not conform to convention. It would appear that it is by sheer chance that an aspect of intellectual life - and by far the most important in my opinion — about which no one was supposed to be concerned any longer has, recently, been brought back to light”.
The Artist Surrealists wanted to free their minds of rational thought, to write or paint the ideas that were buried deep in their minds. These artists did not wish their work to make simple, logical sense.
Vocabulary • Juxtaposition • Metamorphosis • Repetition • Scale • Negative/Positive space • Texture
JUXTAPOSITION Feature Artists
The famous artist Rene Magritte was one of the main contributors to surrealism in art. Magritte's most well-known paintings use surrealism, which places ordinary objects in unusual contexts and gives familiar objects new translations. In Magritte's work, men in business suits stand suspended among clouds in a blue sky and trains emerge from the living room fireplace.
Create your own surreal work of art….. • Artworks should convey a dream-like quality through bizarre juxtapositions. EX: subject matter vs. environment. • Ordinary objects should be placed in unusual contexts giving the familiar objects new translations. Combine unexpected combinations of imagery. EX: visual puns, humor, or each of the six elements of surrealism. • Imagery should be rendered in realistic detail.
Putting together your imagesComputer Lab: • Choose an environment to place your imagery/subject matter. • Choose images juxtaposed to your environment or juxtaposed images that can be morphed together. • Create visual puns: house fly (Alice in Wonderland: rocking horse fly), eggs sunny side up (refer back to pp examples) • Brainstorm how you can use each of the elements of surrealism to alter your images: Juxtaposition, Metamorphosis, Repetition, Scale, Negative/Positive space. • Balance your imagery to create an interesting composition.