Surrealism

 

Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members.

Surrealist works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur, however, many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost, with the works being an artifact. Leader Andre Breton was explicit in his assertion that Surrealism was above all a revolutionary movement. Read more ...

 

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Self-portrait on the Border
Between Mexico  the United States

Frida Kahlo

246 USD

Diego in My Thoughts
Frida Kahlo

224 USD

Portrait of Dona Rosita Morillo
Frida Kahlo

224 USD

Fruit of the Earth
Frida Kahlo

219 USD

Portrait of Lucha Maria,
A Girl from Tehuacan

Frida Kahlo

226 USD

The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico)
Frida Kahlo

244 USD

Two Nudes in the Forest
Frida Kahlo

287 USD

Self Portrait with Necklace of Thorns
Frida Kahlo

223 USD

Me and My Parrots
Frida Kahlo

223 USD

Roots
Frida Kahlo

264 USD

Self Portrait with Loose Hair
Frida Kahlo

221 USD

Sun and Life
Frida Kahlo

225 USD

The Persistence of Memory
Salvador Dalí
222 USD

Suburbs of a Paranoiac Critical Town
Salvador Dalí
278 USD

The Madonna of Port Lligat
Salvador Dalí
368 USD

Still Life with Lilies
Salvador Dalí
225 USD

The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory
Salvador Dalí
241 USD

Young Virgin Auto-Sodomized by the Horns of Her Own Chastity
Salvador Dalí
222 USD

Illumined Pleasures
Salvador Dalí
293 USD

The Great Masturbator
Salvador Dalí
280 USD

Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate
Salvador Dalí
302 USD

Apparatus and Hand
Salvador Dalí
301 USD

Metamorphosis of Narcissus
Salvador Dalí
291 USD

Slave Market with the
Disappearing Bust of Voltaire

Salvador Dalí
294 USD

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Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members.

Surrealist works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur, however, many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost, with the works being an artifact. Leader Andre Breton was explicit in his assertion that Surrealism was above all a revolutionary movement.

Surrealism developed out of the Dada activities of World War I and the most important center of the movement was Paris. From the 1920s onward, the movement spread around the globe, eventually affecting the visual arts, literature, film and music of many countries and languages, as well as political thought and practice, philosophy and social theory.

The movement in the mid-1920s was characterized by meetings in cafes where the Surrealists played collaborative drawing games, discussed the theories of Surrealism, and developed a variety of techniques such as automatic drawing. Breton initially doubted that visual arts could even be useful in the Surrealist movement since they appeared to be less malleable and open to chance and automatism. This caution was overcome by the discovery of such techniques as frottage and decalcomania.

Soon more visual artists joined Surrealism including Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, Joan Miro, Yves Tanguy Salvador Dali, Luis Bunuel, Alberto Giacometti, Valentine Hugo, Meret Oppenheim, Toyen and later after the second war: Enrico Donati. Though Breton admired Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp and courted them to join the movement, they remained peripheral. More writers also joined, including former Dadaist Tristan Tzara, Rene Char, and Georges Sadoul.

In 1925 an autonomous Surrealist group formed in Brussels. The group included the musician, poet, and artist E.L.T. Mesens, painter and writer Rene Magritte, Paul Nouge, Marcel Lecomte, and Andre Souris. In 1927 they were joined by the writer Louis Scutenaire. They corresponded regularly with the Paris group, and in 1927 both Goemans and Magritte moved to Paris and frequented Breton's circle. The artists, with their roots in Dada and Cubism, the abstraction of Wassily Kandinsky, Expressionism, and Post-impressionism, also reached to older "bloodlines" such as Hieronymus Bosch, and the so-called primitive and naive arts.

Andre Masson's automatic drawings of 1923, are often used as the point of the acceptance of visual arts and the break from Dada, since they reflect the influence of the idea of the unconscious mind. Another example is Giacometti's 1925 Torso, which marked his movement to simplified forms and inspiration from preclassical sculpture. However, a striking example of the line used to divide Dada and Surrealism among art experts is the pairing of 1925's Little Machine Constructed by Minimax Dadamax in Person (Von minimax dadamax selbst konstruiertes maschinchen) with The Kiss (Le Baiser) from 1927 by Ernst. The first is generally held to have a distance, and erotic subtext, whereas the second presents an erotic act openly and directly. In the second the influence of Miro and the drawing style of Picasso is visible with the use of fluid curving and intersecting lines and colour, whereas the first takes a directness that would later be influential in movements such as Pop art.

Giorgio de Chirico, and his previous development of metaphysical art, was one of the important joining figures between the philosophical and visual aspects of Surrealism. Between 1911 and 1917, he adopted an unornamented depictional style whose surface would be adopted by others later. The Red Tower (La tour rouge) from 1913 shows the stark colour contrasts and illustrative style later adopted by Surrealist painters. His 1914 The Nostalgia of the Poet (La Nostalgie du poete) has the figure turned away from the viewer, and the juxtaposition of a bust with glasses and a fish as a relief defies conventional explanation. He was also a writer whose novel Hebdomeros presents a series of dreamscapes with an unusual use of punctuation, syntax, and grammar designed to create an atmosphere and frame around its images. His images, including set designs for the Ballets Russes, would create a decorative form of Surrealism, and he would be an influence on the two artists who would be even more closely associated with Surrealism in the public mind: Dali and Magritte. He would, however, leave the Surrealist group in 1928.

In 1924, Miro and Masson applied Surrealism to painting, explicitly leading to the La Peinture Surrealiste exhibition of 1925, held at Gallerie Pierre in Paris, and displaying works by Masson, Man Ray, Klee, Miro, and others. The show confirmed that Surrealism had a component in the visual arts (though it had been initially debated whether this was possible), and techniques from Dada, such as photomontage, were used. The following year, on March 26, 1926 Galerie Surrealiste opened with an exhibition by Man Ray. Breton published Surrealism and Painting in 1928 which summarized the movement to that point, though he continued to update the work until the 1960s.

It is interesting to note that when in 1938 Andre Breton traveled with his wife the painter Jacqueline Lamba to Mexico to meet Trotsky, staying as the guest of Diego Rivera's former wife Guadalupe Marin, he met Frida Kahlo and saw her paintings for the first time. Andre Breton declared Kahlo to be an "innate" Surrealist painter.