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History of The Surrealist Art Movement

Uploaded by spootyhead on Mar 06, 2007

History of The Surrealist Art Movement

Sometimes through history, something comes along that changes everything as it has been known thus far. In the 1920’s, such an art movement came around that changed the way art was defined. The Surrealist art movement combined elements of its predecessors, Dada and cubism, to create something unknown to the art world. The movement was first rejected, but its eccentric ideas and unique techniques paved the way for a new form of art.

The Surrealist art movement stemmed from the earlier Dada movement. Dada was a movement in which artists stated their disgust with the war and with life in general. These artists showed that European culture had lost meaning to them by creating pieces of “anti-art” or “nonart.” The idea was to go against traditional art and all for which it stood. “Dada” became the movement’s name as a baby-talk term to show their feeling of nonsense toward the art world (de la Croix 705). Art from this movement was often violent and had an attitude of combat or protest. One historian stated that, “Dada was born from what is hated” (de la Croix 706). Though the movement was started to emphasize nonconformity, Picabia declared Dada to be dead in 1922, saying that it had become too organized a movement (Leslie 58). Despite the fact that it was declared dead, the Dada movement planted the seeds of another, more organized movement.

The Surrealist movement started in Europe in the 1920’s, after World War I with its nucleus in Paris. Its roots were found in Dada, but it was less violent and more artistically based. Surrealism was first the work of poets and writers (Diehl 131). The French poet, André Brenton, is known as the “Pope of Surrealism.” Brenton wrote the Surrealist Manifesto to describe how he wanted to combine the conscious and subconscious into a new “absolute reality” (de la Croix 708). He first used the word surrealism to describe work found to be a “fusion of elements of fantasy with elements of the modern world to form a kind of superior reality.” He also described it as “spontaneous writing” (Surrealism 4166-67). The first exhibition of surrealist painting was held in 1925, but its ideas were rejected in Europe (Diehl 131). Brenton set...

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Uploaded by:   spootyhead

Date:   03/06/2007

Category:   Art History

Length:   8 pages (1,835 words)

Views:   3849

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