Surrealism

Salvador Dali
Surrealism is based o­n the idea of producing fantastic and incongruous images and effects in art. This is done with a mixture of unnatural juxtapositions and combinations of subject matter. Surrealists are dedicated to the expression of imagination revealed by dreams, free of conscious control and convention.

Surrealism was founded by Andre Breton in 1924 with the publishing of his Surrealist Manifesto. He considered the surrealist movement to be a revolutionary movement. Breton was originally a Dadaist and influenced by Freud. He created the Bureau of Surrealist Research in Paris.

The movement was extremely dominant in the 1920s and 1930s. It was an international movement with many forms of expression.

Salvador Dali was a leading surrealist painter who used symbolically dream like objects that included melting watches. o­ne of his most famous paintings, the Persistence of Memory was painted in 1931. Here he includes his limp watches hanging from branches and over edges. In 1934 he was expelled from the surrealism movement by Breton.

Yves Tanguy was a French born American surrealist who painted imaginary landscapes, which consisted of strange, amorphous objects and characters. Tanguy painted Promontory Palace in 1931, a landscape that included molten forms and liquid shapes. His Indefinite Divisibility was painted in 1942 after he had moved to the United States. His wife Kay Sage was an American surrealist painter.

Max Ernst created a world of imagery from a startling combination of incongruous elements of reality. He would sometimes heighten the effect by the use of a collage. In what is called frottage he would rub black chalk o­n paper held against such objects as leaves, wood, and fabrics. This Veristic surrealism is in use today.

After World War II the surrealism movement declined but has not disappeared. It still influences many modern artists.