surrealism giorgio de chirico max ernst joan miro paul klee salvador dali rene magritte

SURREALISM Giorgio de Chirico Max Ernst Joan Miro Paul Klee Salvador Dali Rene Magritte

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SURREALISMGiorgio de Chirico

Max ErnstJoan MiroPaul Klee

Salvador Dali Rene Magritte

• Surrealism was a style of art and literature that stressed the subconscious or non rational significance of imagery arrived at by automatism or the exploitation of chance effects, or unexpected juxtapositions.

• Surrealism was not only an art movement, but a philosophy that embraced literature, music, cinema, and popular culture. Surrealist poets experimented with Automatism, a form of writing that had poets trying to record their thoughts, without conscious control and without any conscious regard for aesthetic or moral considerations.

• Surrealist artists thought of their images as visual poems.

• Surrealism flourished in Europe between World Wars I and II. It grew principally out of the earlier Dada movement, which before World War I produced works of anti-art that deliberately defied reason; but Surrealism’s emphasis was not on negation but on positive expression.

• The movement was a reaction against the destruction wrought by the "rationalism" that had guided European culture and politics in the past and had culminated in the horrors of World War I.

• According to the major spokesman of the movement, the poet and critic André Breton, who published "The Surrealist Manifesto" in 1924, Surrealism united conscious and unconscious realms of experience so that the world of dream and fantasy would be joined to the everyday rational world in "an absolute reality, a surreality."

• Drawing heavily on theories adapted from Sigmund Freud, (the Swiss psychiatrist) Breton saw the unconscious as the wellspring of the imagination. He defined genius in terms of accessibility to this normally untapped realm, which, he believed, could be attained by poets and painters.

Marc Chagall – 1887 - 1985

• The Russian painter Marc Chagall was an early inspiration for the Surrealist movement. While he always kept one foot planted in the real Russian soil that produced him, he was one of the first to free his visual imagination “from the bonds of reason and convention,” and his work served as inspiration for the Surrealists.

• Chagall• I and the Village

Marc Chagall - Birthday

Giorgio de Chirico – 1888 - 1978

• De Chirico was an Italian painter whose works from the period 1909 to 1919, were to have an influence on the Surrealist movement that would form a few years later.

• De Chirico read and admired the writing of Nietzsche, the nihilist philosopher; when De Chirico travelled through the city of Turin, on his way to Paris in 1911, he felt he had found Nietzsche’s city, and created several disquieting paintings of desolate urban landscapes.

Giorgio De Chirico (Italian)

• Melancholy and the Mystery of the Street

De Chirico – Italian Piazza

• Salvador Dali is often the first name we associate with Surrealism, but he did not join the movement until 1929, five years after its founding, and he was kicked out of the movement in 1939, because of his fascist leanings.

• Dali was something of an exhibitionist; he loved to gain publicity by shocking or provoking his critics.

• He spent the war years (WWII) in America, where he made a fortune working with advertisers and with Disney.

Salvador Dali – The Enigma of Hitler - 1939

• Salvador Dali• The Enigma of Time

Dali - Apparition of the Aphrodite of Cnidus

Salvador Dali – Geopolitical Child

• Salvador Dali• The Burning Giraffe• Here we see one of

Dali’s motifs, the drawers that suggest the hidden contents of the human subconscious

The City of Drawers

• The Drawers of the Psyche

Salvador Dali

Space Elephant

Dali returned to this spindly legged elephant motif over and over again. The fragile legs seem incapable of supporting the weight of the animal.

• (just for you George)

Salvador Dali – Alice in Wonderland

• Lewis Carol’s story of the girl who fell down a rabbit hole held a special fascination for Dali, as Alice’s journey is a voyage into the subconscious, the realm of surrealism.

• Dali• Illustration from Alice

in Wonderland

• Dali• - from Alice in


Rene Magritte

1898 - 1967

• Magritte loved to use the props of normalcy in order to upend, invert and collapse them, leading the viewer into the unknown territory where life leaves off and art begins. "The mind loves the unknown," he avowed, "it loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown."

Magritte – The Treachery of Images – 1928/29

• The Treachery of Images is perhaps Magritte’s best known work. Magritte is reminding the viewer that an image is just an image.

• Magritte• Attempting the


• Here again, Magritte warns of the impossibility of creating an ideal reality through art.

• Magritte's work frequently displays a juxtaposition of ordinary objects in an unusual context, giving new meanings to familiar things.

• Magritte described his paintings as "visible images which conceal nothing; they evoke mystery and, indeed, when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question, 'What does that mean?'. It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable."

Magritte – The Tomb of the Wrestlers

Magritte – Golconde 1953

• Time Transfixed• 1939

• Magritte• Presence

Magritte – The False Mirror

Magritte – The Tempest

• 1912, Magritte’s mother committed suicide by drowning herself in the River Sambre. According to a legend, 13-year-old Magritte was present when her body was retrieved from the water, but recent research has discredited this story, which may have originated with the family nurse. Supposedly, when his mother was found, her dress was covering her face, an image that has been suggested as the source of several paintings Magritte painted in 1927–1928 of people with cloth obscuring their faces, including Les Amants.

Magritte –Les Amants (The Lovers)

• Magritte's constant play with reality and illusion has been attributed to the early death of his mother. Psychoanalysts who have examined bereaved children have said that Magritte's back and forth play with reality and illusion reflects his "constant shifting back and forth from what he wishes—'mother is alive'—to what he knows—'mother is dead' "