Surrealism 1920 – …

International intellectual movement, which was centred mainly in Paris and occupied with the problems of thought and expression in all their forms The Surrealists perceived a deep crisis in Western culture and responded with a revision of values at every level, inspired by the psychoanalytical discoveries of Freud and the political ideology of Marxism In both poetry and the visual arts this revision was undertaken through the development of unconventional techniques, of which Automatism was paramount The Parisian poets who formulated Surrealist theory and orientation were officially identified by André Breton’s Manifeste du surréalisme (1924), the essay ‘Une Vague de rêves’ (October 1924) by Louis Aragon and the periodical La Révolution surréaliste, published two months later Under Breton’s guidance, the movement remained potent up to World War II, surviving until his death in 1966

Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for its visual artworks and writings Artists painted unnerving, illogical scenes with photographic precision, created strange creatures from everyday objects and developed painting techniques that allowed the unconscious to express itself Its aim was to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality into an absolute reality, a super-reality”

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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 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

The word ‘surrealist’ was coined in March 1917 by Guillaume Apollinaire in a letter to Paul Dermée: “All things considered, I think in fact it is better to adopt surrealism than supernaturalism, which I first used”

Throughout the 1930s, Surrealism continued to become more visible to the public at large A Surrealist group developed in London and, according to Breton, their 1936 London International Surrealist Exhibition was a high-water mark of the period and became the model for international exhibitions Another English Surrealist group developed in Birmingham, meanwhile, and was distinguished by its opposition to the London surrealists and preferences for surrealism’s French heartland The two groups would reconcile later in the decade

Dalí and Magritte created the most widely recognized images of the movement Dalí joined the group in 1929, and participated in the rapid establishment of the visual style between 1930 and 1935

Surrealism as a visual movement had found a method: to expose psychological truth; stripping ordinary objects of their normal significance, to create a compelling image that was beyond ordinary formal organization, in order to evoke empathy from the viewer