An Overview of Surrealism

What is surrealism? This literary and artistic movement began in the aftermath of World War I. The term refers to the expression of the unconscious mind, particularly through art. This movement began in France, but the ideas that inspired it were found in other European countries, including Britain, the United States, and the Netherlands. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the key concepts of surrealism and how it evolved. In the meantime, you’ll get a quick overview of this important movement.

Surrealism is a literary and artistic movement

In the early twentieth century, an artistic and literary movement called surrealism emerged in France. Its members took inspiration from the theories of Sigmund Freud, who argued that insanity comes from breaking the logic that governs our lives. Surrealists crafted images that were impossible to understand and juxtaposed them on inconceivable landscapes. While the movement never disappeared as an organized movement, it remains a topic of discussion in many forms today.

It is a reaction to World War I

The birth of Surrealism was a response to the horrors of World War I. Many artists who became involved in the movement had been serving in the military. Their anti-military and anti-nationalistic stances were fueled by the theories of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis. Most Surrealists found refuge in the United States, where they found a sympathetic audience and support for their cause. Artists such as Max Ernst and Marlene Masson merged mythological figures with animal or plant imagery to create surrealistic works.

It is a form of expression of the unconscious mind

Artists who practice surrealism study the unconscious mind, and seek to create works that express the feelings and desires of the subconscious. They reject the logical process in favor of an irrational one. The Surrealists believed that the unconscious mind is a vast data-bank of past experiences, memories, actions, and thoughts. The subconscious mind serves as an artist’s guide.

It is expressed in art

One of the most striking ways that Surrealism is expressed in art is by the use of found objects. Artists like Max Ernst made use of found objects to create assemblages of familiar objects. Objects such as a fur-covered cup, saucer, and spoon are a common theme among Surrealist paintings. Ernst also utilized techniques that allow the viewer to imagine interacting with the objects in the pieces.

It is expressed in movies

Surrealist films have a strong sense of weirdness and challenge viewers’ perceptions about what is real and what is not. Surrealists use conflicting images, concepts, and actions to expose the absurdity of our normal society. Often, surrealist characters find themselves in situations beyond their comprehension, blurring the lines between order and insanity. They may be naive, but they are utterly compelling.




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