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Late 1920s – 1940s: Surrealism PowerPoint Presentation
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Late 1920s – 1940s: Surrealism

Late 1920s – 1940s: Surrealism

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Late 1920s – 1940s: Surrealism

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  1. Before? • After? Late 1920s – 1940s: Surrealism

  2. DADA

  3. * Development of DADA: • After WW1 • 1916 at Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich (Switzerland): ~ 2 artists -- Hugo Ball & Hulsenback found the word ‘Dada’ accidentally by inserting a knife at random in a German-French dictionary. DADA: Symbolized a deliberate anti-rational, anti-aesthetic point of view.

  4. Why Dada developed: - A reaction to the disillusionment engendered by World War I & life in general. ~ Feelings of disgust & revulsion. ~Blamed rational forces of scientific and technological development for bringing European civilization to the brink of self-destruction.

  5. DADA: Means a variety of things in various languages. ~ French: Hobby-horse ~ Romanian: Yes, Yes (Slavic tongues) ~ German: A sign of absurd naivety - Choice of word had childhood associations (when repeated sounds like meaningless babble; suggest instinct & intuition as means of knowledge.)

  6. *AIMS of DADA: - To destroy the concept of art as an aesthetic activity. • To replace art by anti-art or non-art Dadaists mocked all the values of what they believed to be a culture gone mad, by making works of non-art.

  7. Tristan Tzara (on the composition of a poem): “Take a newspaper. Take a pair of scissors. Choose an article as long as you are planning to make your poem. Cut out the article. Then cut out each of the works that make up this article and put them in a bag. Shake it gently. Then take out the scraps one after the other in the order in which they left the bag. Copy conscientiously. The poem will be like you.”

  8. DADA * What & How did the Dadaists create? - Noise Music - Nonsense poem - Art objects produced by unorthodox means. *Experimented with automatic drawing * Use of Chance results * Execution of Choice

  9. Strategies of Jean Arp: • Drew the same design every day until his hand automatically began to create variations on the original shapes. – Beginnings of automatism - Tore up coloured paper, or his own drawings and let them fall as they would. – Chance effect

  10. Jean Arp Collage with Squares Arranged According to the Laws of Chance. 1916 -- 17 Torn & pasted papers

  11. DADA MARCEL DUCHAMP 1887 -- 1968 * French-American painter & sculptor. * One of the key figures of modern art. ~ Chief tool: Readymade

  12. READYMADE * A found object that already exists -- often a mundane manufactured product -- and is given a new identity as an artwork/part of an artwork. Since 1912, Duchamp elevated commonplace objects to status of works of art. Challenged the traditional claims of art to beauty and significance.

  13. READYMADES * A bicycle wheel mounted on a stool. Bicycle Wheel 1913

  14. READYMADES In Advance of the Broken Arm 1915

  15. Choice of the Readymades: “… never dictated by aesthetic delectation but… on a reaction of visual indifference with a total absence of good or bad taste -- a complete anesthesia.” ~ Duchamp

  16. READYMADES * Examples of Duchamp’s attempts to de-mystify art. * Proclaimed that the world was already so full of ‘interesting’ objects that the artist need not add to them. Instead, he could just pick one, and this ironic act of choice was equivalent to creation -- a choice of mind rather than of hand.

  17. READYMADES Fountain 1917

  18. READYMADES * Purpose: ~ To create ‘a new thought’ for an object. “It could not be indecent because such objects were on show everywhere in plumbers’ shop windows.” - Duchamp Fountain 1917

  19. REBELLION OF THE READYMADE - Mainly intellectual: ~ Regarded as a precursor of the Conceptual Art movement of the 1960s. - Offered a new definition of the artist -- a person who manipulates the context as a way of changing perceptions instead of a maker of objects. - Introduced a new & subversive definition of originality.

  20. What is the difference between these two works?

  21. RECTIFIED READYMADES * Drew on a reproduction of Mona Lisa a moustache and beard as if defacing a billboard. * Also gave it a punning title -- LHOOQ ~ Translated from French -- “She has hot pants/ass”. * Dada’s concern: Contradicted the idea of the sanctity of art & the value of the unique art object. * Intention: - To emphasize art’s intellectual basis in thought or philosophy. L.H.O.O.Q. 1919

  22. MAN RAY (1890 -- 1977) - Took up photography & invented Rayograph * Rayograph = A technique for rendering a 3-D abstract world in a photographic print. (A camera-less photographic image made by a process in which objects were placed on a sensitized paper, when was then exposed directly to light.)

  23. Rayographs by Man Ray

  24. - First ready-made by Man Ray. - Mass-produced iron adorned with a row of carpet tacks. - Reflected sardonic spite. - An alarming object -- possible effects in the laundry OR the ungracious connotations of its title. Gift 1921

  25. Kurt Schwitters 1887 -- 1948 * German artist * Created collage compositions from rubbish and trash-- odds & ends of wood, broken bits of glass and plaster, torn tram tickets, chocolate wrappers, newspapers, etc. * Merz pictures: Displayed the typical Dada contempt for conventional techniques. * Common theme: City as compressor, intensifier of experience

  26. * “Merz” pictures ~ Collages from rubbish & debris - Investigated the rubbish of civilisation: tram tickets, chocolate wrappers & transformed them into objects of artistic quality whilst allowing them to preserve their identity. Merz Picture 25A

  27. Schwitters Merzbau –Schwitter’s ultimate work of Art • Constructed in his house in Hanover (1923) • It began as disparate pieces of collage and assemblages round the studio walls, which over time were connected by string, then wire, then wood, and finally plastered wood. His "Merzbau" gradually took over the downstairs and when it required more space for expansion, Schwitters cut a hole in the ceiling and gave notice to his upstairs lodgers. Into the individual "grottos" of the Merzbau Schwitters placed a bizarre collection of objects gathered from his friends and fellow artists, anything from a stolen sock to a broken pencil. Merzbau


  29. DADA • CRITICAL • PLAYFUL * Strategies/Techniques of the Dadaists destroyed traditional notions of what art should be. By breaking up conventional notions of art, the Dadaists sought to set free the visual imagination completely.

  30. Surrealism Rene Magritte Personal Values 1952

  31. Surrealism Salvador Dali The Persistence of Memory 1931 24 cm x 33 cm

  32. Surrealism Joan Miro Harlequin’s Carnival 1924 Oil on canvas

  33. Automatic Drawing • Automatic drawing was developed by the Surrealists as a means of expressing the subconscious. • In automatic drawing, the hand is allowed to move 'randomly' across the paper. In applying chance and accident to mark-making, drawing is to a large extent freed of rational control. • Hence the drawing produced may be attributed in part to the subconscious and may reveal something of the psyche.

  34. 1950s: Abstract Expressionism

  35. Number 26A, 1948 Jackson Pollock 1948 Oil, enamel & aluminium on canvas

  36. Jackson Pollock “….painting is a state of being….Painting is self discovery.”

  37. “New needs demand new techniques” • Pollock - Direct expression /revelation of the unconscious moods. ~ The scatter & fall of the paint further emphasized the liquid nature of the medium itself

  38. Jackson Pollock – His artistic journey • Studied classical drawing and composition, and also American "regionalist" painting styles • During the Great Depression and the World War II years, he painted murals for the Works Progress Administration's "Federal Art Project".

  39. Jackson Pollock – His artistic journey Early & Mid 1940s: • Began work that was based on automatic techniques. • Made use of pictographs & ideograms which were in part suggested by his study of Carl Jung & Red Indian mythology with influences from the Surrealist artist, Joan Miro. Bird 1941 Oil and sand on canvas, 70.5 x 61.6 cm

  40. Jackson Pollock – His artistic journey • Use of mythical imagery Dog = Guardian of Pollock’s psyche, represented by the central panel. • Pollock gradually turned to rituals to represent life cycle, powers & forces. Guardians of the Secret 1943

  41. Jackson Pollock – His artistic journey - Eyes: Imagery connecting the inner and outer worlds. ~ Use of short cursive brushwork --allowed his lines to form a series of patterns over the whole surface of the picture. Eyes in the Heat 1946

  42. JACKSON POLLOCK 1912 -- 1956 Concerns: - Forces and energy (Dissolution of matter into energy under extreme stress.) - Life cycles • Focuses on the creative idea of evolution, eternal change and eternal life. Broke down the conventional idea of ‘art’ ~ Freed the need to depict images. ~ The act & process of painting become the subject & content of a work. Autumn Rhythm (Number 30),1950 1950Enamel on canvas266.7 x 525.8 cm

  43. Jackson Pollock ~ Painting = Physical activity (Movement of arms, a source of expressive power) Tapped on his own subconscious ~ Canvas = A spontaneous arena in which the artist ‘performs’ or ‘acts’. His painting process becomes a ritual