³Dali Atomicus,´ Philippe Halsman, 1948

³dreamlike, unreal, bizarre or irrational´

‡ Have you ever had one of those recurring dreams, or dreams so vivid that you awoke wondering if what just happened was real? ‡ Have you ever experienced déjà vu?? ‡ Do you daydream???

‡ SURREALISTS used this type of SUBCONSCIOUS THOUGHT to INSPIRE their art.

± ³Existing in the mind but not immediately controlled.´ ± ³Partial awareness.´

± ³Controlled thoughts´ ± ³Total awareness´

‡ Surrealism is about the liberation of the imagination from what most people believe is normal and reasonable. ‡ Instead of trying to show the real world, Surrealists create fantasies. These creations are based on dreamlike ideas that begin in the artist¶s subconscious thoughts.

Surrealism began:
‡ As a Revolutionary Movement. ‡ It was started by the Poet Andre Breton who experimented with:
± Automatic writing
‡ ³spontaneously writing without censoring their thoughts²and published the "automatic" writings, as well as accounts of dreams, in Littérature.´

Salvador Dali
‡ Salvado Dali, the most famous Surrealist artist, told everyone he received messages from the other world through the ends of his moustache!

Analyze and Describe«
‡ What words would you use to describe the Dali paintings in the next three slides?

Three Young Surrealist Women Holding in Their Hands the Skins of an Orchestra, 1936

The Persistence of Memory (Soft Watches), 1931

Soft Construction with Boiled Beans: Premonition of Civil War, 1936, Oil on Canvas

Is this painting realistic?
‡ In what ways? ‡ What is odd about the painting?

Time Transfixed, 1938 Rene Magritte

Is this painting by Rene Magritte realistic?

The Son of Man, oil painting, 1964

How did Surrealism come about?
It started with DADA
‡ World War I caused the death of over 37 million people and billions of dollars in damages. A whole generation of people had new physical and psychological scars because of this. ‡ A search for a new truth rejecting traditional European beliefs which were thought to have caused the war had begun. ‡ An Anti-war, Anti-Art Movement, DADA resulted. ‡ How does this connect to you?

Dada: ³Art means nothing´
‡ To Dadaists, the art of children, insane people and ³primitive´ cultures was just as important as the so called Great Art of Western civilizations.

A Child¶s Drawing Mona Lisa, 1503±1505/1507 Leonardo Da Vinci

Do you Agree or Disagree with the Dadaists?
‡ How should art be valued?

Cut with the Kitchen Knife, 1919, Hannah Hoch

New ways of Thinking!
Mona Lisa, 1503±1505/1507 Leonardo Da Vinci

Bicycle Wheel (Ready-made) 1913, Marcel Duchamp

‡ DADA challenged what was acceptable art and rejected the established value system of art.

Abstract Art: Focused on expressing
thoughts and feelings without clear representational images.

Composition VIII, Wassily Kandinsky 1923

The Metamorphosis of Narcissus, 1937, Oil on Canvas, Salvador Dali

‡ Found inspiration in the writings of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, the founders of modern psychiatry.

‡ Freud and other therapists used inkblots to delve into the subconscious minds of their patients to reveal things about them. Each patient saw something different. Surrealists were influenced by ideas like this. ‡ What do you see?

‡ Surrealist paintings are usually very technically realistic. Their subjects are strange, poetic, or bizarre. ‡ Certain types of images appear frequently in Surreal art. They follow with the next slide and define the EIGHT MAIN SURREALIST CONVENTIONS.


1. Morphs:
Transformations from one thing to another.
The Rape, 1934, Rene Magritte

2. Distortion of Scale:
Giving disproportionate size to something (in relation to something else)

Sleep 1937, oil on canvas, Salvador Dali

3. Floating Objects: Objects that float freely in space.

Rose Meditative, 1958 Salvador Dali

4. Dislocation: the act of being out of place.

Time Transfixed, 1938 Rene Magritte

5. Transparency: the quality of being seethrough.

La Condition humaine, 1933, Rene Magritte

6. Juxtaposition: putting unlike
things together to provoke comparison.
‡ The Surrealists hoped Juxtaposition would suggest new meaning for familiar images, like in a dream.

Lobster Telephone, 1936, Surrealist Object, Salvador Dali

7. Distortion (of Shape): Alteration of the original shape.

The Persistence of Memory (Soft Watches), 1930

8. Texture Switches: Using an unexpected texture.

Object, 1936, Meret Oppenheim

‡ Logical impossiblities were also characteristic of Surrealist art. ‡ Incongruities, such as this, were used to shock the viewer.

La Reproduction Interdite (English: Not to be Reproduced), 1937 Rene Magritte

The Surrealists loved to play with perception through visuals.

Salvador Dali

Optical Illusions were also a device used by Surrealists.

El cheque en blanco (1965), Rene Magritte

Distortion of Scale Photography Example

For Further Study:
Un Chien Andalou, 1926 (Salvador Dali cowrote this film.)* Films by David Lynch including: Eraserhead (1977) Blue Velvet (1986) Mulholland Drive (2001) Films by Michael Gondry including: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) The Science of Sleep (2006) Films by Terry Gilliam including: Brazil (1985) The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus (2009) ‡Available on Netflix via Instant Download