Surrealism – History, Influences and Characteristics

The surrealist art movement emerged in the 1920’s; it is believed to have stemmed from the Dada art movement. ‘The idea of the Dada movement was to go against traditional art and all for which it stood’ (arthistoryarchive 2014).

Dada: ABCD by Raoul Hausmann (1920)

hausmann-3Cubism: Weeping Woman by Pablo Picasso (1937)

PabloPicasso-Weeping-Woman-with-Handkerchief-1937

Expressionism: Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh (1889)

van-gogh-vincent-starry-nightSurrealist artists use elements and techniques inspired from Dada, Cubism and Expressionism (examples shown above). This shows the importance of looking at history, of which I have studied for my theory module, as it allows exploration into different art movement, how they began, its influences and evolvement over time. Some of the key characteristics of surrealist art are:

-juxtaposition of objects that would not normally be together
-repetition of objects
-varied object scaling
-simple titles of work

Surrealism: Golconda by Rene Margritte (1953)

golconda

Surrealism is shaped by emerging theories on our perception of reality, it relates to the blurring distinctions of the conscious (reality) and unconscious mind (dreams). Sigmund Freud, the founding father of psychoanalysis was a key figure, his ideas and theories were strongly embraced by surrealists. His work, titled The Interpretation of Dreams Freud's Iceberg 2(1900),

‘strongly influenced the movement of Surrealism, providing a theoretical basis to unravel the unconscious and thus free the imagination through their work’ (Manoeuvresto 2012).

My interactive piece can relate to surrealism as it features some of the key characteristics listed above. The juxtaposition of the falling shapes blurs users perception of reality, as they would usually just expect to see themselves captured on camera. The addition of the falling shapes is a surreal feature, of which the distinctions between the conscious and unconscious become blurred. The shapes are also repeated and are of various different sizes, another common characteristic of surrealist work.

I feel that it is important to explore the history of surrealism as it has helped to further my understanding of the concept. I have learnt more about the art movements of which influences surrealist work as well as further exploring Freudian theory. Next, I will go on to explore some surreal photography as at the moment I have only looked at artwork. I feel that by looking at some more existing surreal pieces, it can help inspire me for my piece and will allow me to analyse the concept further.

arthistoryarchive, 2014. The Origins Of Surrealism [online]. Available from: http://www.arthistoryarchive.com/arthistory/surrealism/Origins-of-Surrealism.html [Accessed 3 December 2014].

Manoeuvresto, 2012. The Influence Of Sigmund Freud’s Theory Of Dreams On The Movement Of Surrealism [online]. Available from:http://manoeuvresto.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/influence-of-sigmund-freuds-theory-of.html %5BAccessed 3 December 2014].

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s