The cultural movement of Surrealism began in the 1920s, and features the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions, and non sequiturs.
Express the ideas behind Surrealism and those most influential in its development
Surrealism developed out of the Dada activities during World War I and the most important center of the movement was Paris.
Freud's work with free association, dream analysis, and the unconscious was of utmost importance to Surrealists developing methods to liberate imagination.
Along with dream analysis, the Surrealists emphasized that "one could combine inside the same frame, elements not normally found together to produce illogical and startling effects".
The group aimed to revolutionize human experience, in its personal, cultural, social, and political aspects. They wanted to free people from false rationality, and also from restrictive customs and structures.
(1904 – 1989) A prominent Spanish surrealist painter, Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters.
a surrealist painting technique whereby one attempts to move the brush, pen etc. without conscious control over it
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for writing and visual art. Surrealist works feature the element of surprise, along with unexpected juxtapositions and non sequiturs. First and foremost, Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement, with the artwork being an artifact. Leader André Breton was explicit in his assertion that Surrealism was above all a revolutionary movement. Surrealism developed out of the Dada activities during 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.
World War I scattered the writers and artists who had been based in Paris, and in the interim many became involved with Dada, believing that excessive rational thought and bourgeois values had brought the conflict of the war upon the world. The Dadaists protested with anti-art gatherings, performances, writings, and artworks. After the war, when they returned to Paris, the Dada activities continued.
During the war, André Breton, who had trained in medicine and psychiatry, served in a neurological hospital where he used Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic methods with soldiers suffering from shell shock. Meeting the young writer Jacques Vaché, Breton felt that Vaché was the spiritual son of writer and metaphysical thinker Alfred Jarry. He admired the young writer's antisocial attitude and disdain for established artistic tradition. Later Breton wrote, "In literature, I was successively taken with Rimbaud, with Jarry, with Apollinaire, with Nouveau, with Lautréamont, but it is Jacques Vaché to whom I owe the most. "
Back in Paris, Breton joined in Dada activities and started the literary journal Littérature along with Louis Aragon and Philippe Soupault. They began experimenting with automatic writing—spontaneously writing without censoring their thoughts—and published the writings, as well as accounts of dreams, in the literary journal. Breton and Soupault delved deeper into automatism and wrote The Magnetic Fields (1920).
The Development of the Surrealist Movement
Continuing to write, attracting more artists and writers, Breton and Soupault came to believe that automatism was a better tactic for societal change than Dadaist attacks on prevailing values. The group grew to include Salvador Dalí, Man Ray, Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, among other notable artistic figures. As the Surrealists developed their philosophy, they believed that Surrealism would advocate the idea that ordinary and representative expression was vital and important, but that expression must be fully open to the imagination. Freud's work with free association, dream analysis, and the unconscious was of utmost importance to the Surrealists as they developed methods to liberate their imaginations. They embraced idiosyncrasy, while rejecting the idea of an underlying madness. Later, Salvador Dalí explained it as: "There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad."
Along with dream analysis, the Surrealists emphasized that "one could combine inside the same frame, elements not normally found together to produce illogical and startling effects" . Breton included the idea of the startling juxtapositions in his 1924 manifesto, taking it in turn from a 1918 essay by poet Pierre Reverdy, which said: "a juxtaposition of two more or less distant realities. The more the relationship between the two juxtaposed realities is distant and true, the stronger the image will be -- the greater its emotional power and poetic reality" .
The group aimed to revolutionize human experience, in terms of the personal, cultural, social, and political aspects. They wanted to free people from false rationality, and also from restrictive customs and structures. Breton proclaimed that the true aim of Surrealism was "long live the social revolution, and it alone! " To this goal, at various times Surrealists aligned with communism and anarchism. In 1924 they declared their philosophy in the first "Surrealist Manifesto. " That same year they established the Bureau of Surrealist Research, and began publishing the journal La Révolution surréaliste.