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Understanding Surrealism: A Clear and Simple Explanation of This Art Movement

Surrealism is an art movement that began in Paris, in the early 1920s.

The word surrealism comes from the French word “surréalisme” from sur “beyond” and réalisme “realism”.

In visual art, surrealism is an artistic style in which humorous or disturbing scenes which include everyday life objects are depicted in new and unexpected ways. This type of art usually portrays illogical and unnerving places that look like dreams.

Surrealists sought to channel the unconscious mind and create art that was irrational and often unsettling. They believed that by tapping into the unconscious, they could access a higher truth than what is available to conscious thought.

Golden Age of Surrealism

The golden age of the surrealism movement is said to be between the years 1924 and 1929. This was a time when the movement was at its peak, with many famous artists and writers associated with it.

Surrealism was started by a group of young Frenchmen, led by André Breton. They were influenced by the ideas of Sigmund Freud and the Dada art movement.

Sigmund Freud’s Influence on Surrealism

Sigmund Freud is considered the father of psychoanalysis and his work has had a profound effect on our understanding of the human mind. One of the most influential ideas to come out of Freud’s work is the concept of the unconscious mind, which he believed was responsible for our dreams and fantasies.

The Surrealist artists were interested in exploring the power of the unconscious mind. They believed that by tapping into this hidden part of our psyche, they could create art that was more expressive and emotionally powerful than anything that had been created before.

While Freud’s work was instrumental in inspiring the Surrealists, there was also a healthy dose of skepticism among members of the group. Many felt that psychoanalysis was too scientific and didn’t leave enough room for creativity and imagination.

Dada’s Influence on Surrealism

Artists associated with the dada movement were interested in making art that was anti-traditional and often used found objects or everyday items in their work.

Dada began in Zurich in 1916, during the First World War. The Dadaists were a group of artists who rejected the horrors of war and the traditional values of art and culture. They believed that art should be used to challenge authority and to provoke change.

Surrealism emerged from Dada in the 1920s. Like the Dadaists, the Surrealists were opposed to traditional values.

Expansion of the Surrealism Movement

Though surrealism began as an artistic movement, it quickly spread to other areas such as literary works and film.

Today, the legacy of Surrealism can be seen in many different forms of art, from photography and sculpture to music, literature, and theatre. The movement continues to inspire artists all over the world, who are drawn to its fantastical imagery and radical ideas.

Surrealism and International Politics

Many surrealist artists were also political activists, and they used their art to comment on the social and political issues of the day.

What Are Examples of Surrealism?

Here are some stunning examples of surrealism:

A Gallery of Mind-Blowing Surreal Artwork | ImportSounds

Salvador Dali, René Magritte, and Max Ernst are 3 well-known surrealist artists who achieved fame for their unique and often bizarre paintings.

What Are the Characteristics of Surrealism?

In the world of art, there is perhaps no style more unique and eye-catching than Surrealism.

Surrealist paintings often feature strange imagery and may appear to be nonsensical at first glance. However, upon closer inspection, there is often a hidden meaning or message within the artwork.

Often, surrealistic paintings will corporate elements of the dream world or subconscious mind, which can create a sense of disorientation or unease. Additionally, many surrealist paintings feature distorted images or perspectives that are impossible in reality, which can add to the feeling of unease.

Ultimately, the goal of surrealistic artwork is to challenge the viewer’s perceptions and invoke an emotional response.

Final Thoughts: How Do You Explain Surrealism?

It’s a difficult question to answer, as surrealism is an art movement that defies explanation.

Surrealism is a style of art that emphasizes the strange, the bizarre, and the unexpected.

It often features elements that are not normally found together, such as animals with human characteristics, or objects in impossible situations. Surrealists often use these elements to explore the subconscious mind and to provoke an emotional reaction in viewers.

While surrealism can be difficult to understand, it is also one of the most intriguing and fascinating art movements of the 20th century.

To learn more about Surrealism, check out the video below:

Surrealism in 5 Minutes: Idea Behind the Art Movement | Curious Muse