Good to Know: Surrealism

{Surrealism, literary and artistic movement born in the early 1900’s, is caracterised by its different approaches of expression and creativity that use psychic forces: automatisms, dreams and the subconscious… Artsper has selected ten key facts to reading and understanding the surrealist movement}

{First and foremost, surrealism is not an artistic movement. Originally, it was a literary movement but also a philosophy and a way of life}

{The term surrealism was coined and defined in 1924 by French writer Andre Breton in the first surrealist manifesto}


{The surrealists broke off from to the Dada movement. They thought surrealism would bring new values, which was in opposition to what the Dadaists thought}

{Surrealism : “”Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express — verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner — the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by the thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.”}

{Surrealism draws inspiration from psychoanalytic notions of Freud. Through an analysis of the subconscious and interpretation of dreams, surrealists suggest a more poetic vision of the world tinged with mystery}

 {One of the most famous surrealist paintings, The persistence of memory, is known for its melting watches. This work suggests dream and time’s superficiality}


{The Son of Man is a self-portrait by Rene Magritte. Strangely, we can’t see the face of the man that is covered by an apple. The sky is stormy and when looked up close, you can still distinguish his eyes behind the apple}


 {Salvador Dali was excommunicated from the movement for his greed and support of the Catholic Church and fascism}

{If Magritte’s work can have a naive sort of childish side to them, Dali’s paintings are darker and disturbing}

{The surrealist work focuses on intimacy and introspection, they reveal the inner ME. This very personal subject will develop later with less psychoanalytic but just as much introspection  the work of artists from the movement of Body Art}