Surrealism
Overview

Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members.

Surrealist works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur; however, many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost, with the works being an artifact.
Encyclopedia

Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members.

Surrealist works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur; however, many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost, with the works being an artifact. Leader André Breton
André Breton
André Breton was a French writer and poet. He is known best as the founder of Surrealism. His writings include the first Surrealist Manifesto of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as "pure psychic automatism"....

 was explicit in his assertion that Surrealism was above all a revolutionary movement.

Surrealism developed out of the Dada
Dada
Dada or Dadaism is a cultural movement that began in Zurich, Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from 1916 to 1922. The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature—poetry, art manifestoes, art theory—theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a...

 activities during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and the most important center of the movement was Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. From the 1920s onward, the movement spread around the globe, eventually affecting the visual arts, literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

, film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

, and music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

 of many countries and languages, as well as political
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

 thought and practice, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, and social theory
Social theory
Social theories are theoretical frameworks which are used to study and interpret social phenomena within a particular school of thought. An essential tool used by social scientists, theories relate to historical debates over the most valid and reliable methodologies , as well as the primacy of...

.

Founding of the movement

The word surrealist was coined by Guillaume Apollinaire
Guillaume Apollinaire
Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki, known as Guillaume Apollinaire was a French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic born in Italy to a Polish mother....

 and first appeared in the preface to his play Les Mamelles de Tirésias
The Breasts of Tiresias
The Breasts of Tiresias is a surrealist play by Guillaume Apollinaire. Written in 1903, the play received its first production in a revised version in 1917...

, which was first performed in 1917.

World War I scattered the writers and artists who had been based in Paris, and in the interim many became involved with Dada, believing that excessive rational thought and bourgeois values had brought the conflict of the war upon the world. The Dadaists protested with anti-art
Anti-art
Anti-art is a loosely-used term applied to an array of concepts and attitudes that reject prior definitions of art and question art in general. Anti-art tends to conduct this questioning and rejection from the vantage point of art...

 gatherings, performances, writings and art works. After the war, when they returned to Paris, the Dada activities continued.

During the war, André Breton
André Breton
André Breton was a French writer and poet. He is known best as the founder of Surrealism. His writings include the first Surrealist Manifesto of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as "pure psychic automatism"....

, who had trained in medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 and psychiatry
Psychiatry
Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the study and treatment of mental disorders. These mental disorders include various affective, behavioural, cognitive and perceptual abnormalities...

, served in a neurological
Neurology
Neurology is a medical specialty dealing with disorders of the nervous system. Specifically, it deals with the diagnosis and treatment of all categories of disease involving the central, peripheral, and autonomic nervous systems, including their coverings, blood vessels, and all effector tissue,...

 hospital where he used Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

's psychoanalytic methods with soldiers suffering from shell-shock. Meeting the young writer Jacques Vaché
Jacques Vaché
Jacques Vaché was a friend of André Breton, the founder of surrealism. Vaché was one of the chief inspirations behind the Surrealist movement. As Breton said:...

, Breton felt that Vaché was the spiritual son of writer and pataphysics founder Alfred Jarry
Alfred Jarry
Alfred Jarry was a French writer born in Laval, Mayenne, France, not far from the border of Brittany; he was of Breton descent on his mother's side....

. He admired the young writer's anti-social attitude and disdain for established artistic tradition. Later Breton wrote, "In literature, I was successively taken with Rimbaud
Arthur Rimbaud
Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was a French poet. Born in Charleville, Ardennes, he produced his best known works while still in his late teens—Victor Hugo described him at the time as "an infant Shakespeare"—and he gave up creative writing altogether before the age of 21. As part of the decadent...

, with Jarry, with Apollinaire
Guillaume Apollinaire
Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki, known as Guillaume Apollinaire was a French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic born in Italy to a Polish mother....

, with Nouveau
Germain Nouveau
Germain Marie Bernard Nouveau was born and died in Pourrières, Var, in France . He was a French poet associated with the symbolist movement, and a friend of Rimbaud and Verlaine. In 1874 he traveled to London with Rimbaud. In 1876 he published "Dixains réalistes," a parody of the Parnassians...

, with Lautréamont
Comte de Lautréamont
Comte de Lautréamont was the pseudonym of Isidore Lucien Ducasse , an Uruguayan-born French poet....

, but it is Jacques Vaché to whom I owe the most."

Back in Paris, Breton joined in Dada activities and started the literary journal Littérature
Littérature (magazine)
Littérature was a literary magazine edited by André Breton, Philippe Soupault, and Louis Aragon. Its first issue was published on March 19, 1919. Because of dwindling circulation, Breton decided to terminate publication after the August 1921 issue...

along with Louis Aragon
Louis Aragon
Louis Aragon , was a French poet, novelist and editor, a long-time member of the Communist Party and a member of the Académie Goncourt.- Early life :...

 and Philippe Soupault
Philippe Soupault
Philippe Soupault was a French writer and poet, novelist, critic, and political activist. He was active in Dadaism and later founded the Surrealist movement with André Breton...

. They began experimenting with automatic writing
Surrealist automatism
Automatism has taken on many forms: the automatic writing and drawing initially practiced by surrealists can be compared to similar, or perhaps parallel phenomena, such as the non-idiomatic improvisation of free jazz....

—spontaneously writing without censoring their thoughts—and published the writings, as well as accounts of dreams, in the magazine. Breton and Soupault delved deeper into automatism and wrote The Magnetic Fields
Les Champs Magnétiques
Les Champs Magnétiques is a book by André Breton and Philippe Soupault. It is famed as the first work of literary Surrealism...

(1920).

Continuing to write, they attracted more artists and writers; they came to believe that automatism was a better tactic for societal change than the Dada attack on prevailing values. The group grew to include Paul Éluard
Paul Éluard
Paul Éluard, born Eugène Émile Paul Grindel , was a French poet who was one of the founders of the surrealist movement.-Biography:...

, Benjamin Péret
Benjamin Péret
Benjamin Péret was a French poet, Parisian Dadaist and a founder and central member of the French Surrealist movement with his avid use of Surrealist automatism.-Biography:...

, René Crevel
René Crevel
René Crevel was a French writer involved with the surrealist movement.-Life:Crevel was born in Paris to a family of Parisian bourgeoisie. He had a traumatic religious upbringing. At the age of fourteen, during a difficult stage of his life, his father committed suicide by hanging himself. Crevel...

, Robert Desnos
Robert Desnos
Robert Desnos , was a French surrealist poet who played a key role in the Surrealist movement of his day.- Biography :...

, Jacques Baron
Jacques Baron
Jacques Baron was a French surrealist poet whose first collection of poems was published in Aventure in 1921. Although he was initially involved with the Dada movement, he became a founding member of the Surrealist movement following his meeting with André Breton in 1921, and contributed to La...

, Max Morise
Max Morise
Max Morise was a French artist, writer & actor, associated with the Surrealist movement in Paris from 1924 to 1929. He was friends with Robert Desnos and Roger Vitrac before they joined the Surrealist movement. He contributed articles to La Revolution Surrealiste and took part in a series of...

, Pierre Naville
Pierre Naville
Pierre Naville was a French Surrealist writer and sociologist. He was a prominent member of the 'Investigating Sex' group of Surrealist thinkers.In politics, he was a Communist and then a Trotskyist, before joining the PSU...

, Roger Vitrac
Roger Vitrac
Roger Vitrac was a French surrealist playwright and poet.Born in Pinsac, Roger Vitrac moved to Paris in 1910. As a young man, he was influenced by symbolism and the writings of Lautréamont and Alfred Jarry, and he developed a passion for theatre and poetry...

, Gala Éluard, Max Ernst
Max Ernst
Max Ernst was a German painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet. A prolific artist, Ernst was one of the primary pioneers of the Dada movement and Surrealism.-Early life:...

, Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí
Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol , commonly known as Salvador Dalí , was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres,Spain....

, Man Ray
Man Ray
Man Ray , born Emmanuel Radnitzky, was an American artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. Perhaps best described simply as a modernist, he was a significant contributor to both the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal...

, Hans Arp, Georges Malkine
Georges Malkine
Georges Alexandre Malkine was the only painter to sign the Surrealist Manifesto of 1924; the other signatories were, for the most part, writers...

, Michel Leiris
Michel Leiris
Julien Michel Leiris was a French surrealist writer and ethnographer.-Biography:...

, Georges Limbour
Georges Limbour
Georges Limbour was a French writer of prose and poetry.He was a member of the Surrealist Movement in Paris during the 1920s, but was expelled in 1929. Before his association with André Breton and the Surrealists, Limbour co-edited, along with Roger Vitrac and René Crevel, the avant-garde review...

, Antonin Artaud
Antonin Artaud
Antoine Marie Joseph Artaud, more well-known as Antonin Artaud was a French playwright, poet, actor and theatre director...

, Raymond Queneau
Raymond Queneau
Raymond Queneau was a French poet and novelist and the co-founder of Ouvroir de littérature potentielle .-Biography:Born in Le Havre, Seine-Maritime, Queneau was the only child of Auguste Queneau and Joséphine Mignot...

, André Masson
André Masson
André-Aimé-René Masson was a French artist.-Biography:Masson was born in Balagny-sur-Thérain, Oise, but was brought up in Belgium. He began his study of art at the age of eleven in Brussels, at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts under the guidance of Constant Montald, and later he studied in Paris...

, Joan Miró
Joan Miró
Joan Miró i Ferrà was a Spanish Catalan painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona.Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride...

, Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Considered by some to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Duchamp's output influenced the development of post-World War I Western art...

, Jacques Prévert
Jacques Prévert
Jacques Prévert was a French poet and screenwriter. His poems became and remain very popular in the French-speaking world, particularly in schools. Some of the movies he wrote are extremely well regarded, with Les Enfants du Paradis considered one of the greatest films of all time.-Life and...

, and Yves Tanguy
Yves Tanguy
Raymond Georges Yves Tanguy , known as Yves Tanguy, was a French surrealist painter.-Biography:Tanguy was born in Paris, France, the son of a retired navy captain. His parents were both of Breton origin...

.
As they developed their philosophy, they believed that Surrealism would advocate the idea that ordinary and depictive expressions are vital and important, but that the sense of their arrangement must be open to the full range of imagination according to the Hegelian Dialectic. They also looked to the Marxist dialectic and the work of such theorists as Walter Benjamin
Walter Benjamin
Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin was a German-Jewish intellectual, who functioned variously as a literary critic, philosopher, sociologist, translator, radio broadcaster and essayist...

 and Herbert Marcuse
Herbert Marcuse
Herbert Marcuse was a German Jewish philosopher, sociologist and political theorist, associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory...

.

Freud's work with free association, dream analysis, and the unconscious was of utmost importance to the Surrealists in developing methods to liberate imagination. They embraced idiosyncrasy
Idiosyncrasy
An idiosyncrasy is an unusual feature of a person . The term is often used to express eccentricity or peculiarity. A synonym may be .-Etymology:...

, while rejecting the idea of an underlying madness. Later, Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí
Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol , commonly known as Salvador Dalí , was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres,Spain....

 explained it as: "There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad."

Beside the use of dream analysis, they emphasized that "one could combine inside the same frame, elements not normally found together to produce illogical and startling effects." Breton included the idea of the startling juxtapositions in his 1924 manifesto, taking it in turn from a 1918 essay by poet Pierre Reverdy
Pierre Reverdy
Pierre Reverdy was a French poet associated with surrealism and cubism.Pierre Reverdy was born in Narbonne and grew up near the Montagne Noire in his father's house. Reverdy came from a family of sculptors. His father taught him to read and write. He studied at Toulouse and Narbonne.Reverdy...

, which said: "a juxtaposition of two more or less distant realities. The more the relationship between the two juxtaposed realities is distant and true, the stronger the image will be -- the greater its emotional power and poetic reality.".

The group aimed to revolutionize human experience, in its personal, cultural, social, and political aspects. They wanted to free people from false rationality, and restrictive customs and structures. Breton proclaimed that the true aim of Surrealism was "long live the social revolution, and it alone!" To this goal, at various times Surrealists aligned with communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 and anarchism
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

.

In 1924 they declared their philosophy in the first "Surrealist Manifesto
Surrealist Manifesto
Two Surrealist Manifestos were issued by the Surrealist movement, in 1924 and 1929. The first was written by André Breton, the second was supervised by him. Breton drafted a third Surrealist manifesto which was never issued.-First manifesto:...

". That same year they established the Bureau of Surrealist Research
Bureau of Surrealist Research
The Bureau of Surrealist Research, also known as the Centrale Surréaliste or "Bureau of Surrealist Enquiries" was a Paris-based office in which a loosely affiliated group of Surrealist writers and artists gathered to meet, hold discussions, and conduct interviews in order to "gather all the...

, and began publishing the journal La Révolution surréaliste
La Révolution surréaliste
La Révolution surréaliste was a publication by the Surrealists in Paris. Twelve issues were published between 1924 and 1929....

.

Surrealist Manifesto

Breton wrote the manifesto of 1924 that defines the purposes of the group. He included citations of the influences on Surrealism, examples of Surrealist works and discussion of Surrealist automatism. He defined Surrealism as:

La Révolution surréaliste

Shortly after releasing the first Surrealist Manifesto, the Surrealists published the inaugural issue of La Révolution surréaliste. Publication continued into 1929. As the first directors, Naville and Péret modeled the format of the journal on the conservative scientific review La Nature
La Nature
La Nature was a French language magazine aimed at the popularization of science founded in 1873 by French scientist and adventurer Gaston Tissandier...

.
To the Surrealists' delight, the journal was consistently scandalous and revolutionary. While the focus was on writing, the journal also included reproductions of art, among them works by Giorgio de Chirico
Giorgio de Chirico
Giorgio de Chirico was a pre-Surrealist and then Surrealist Italian painter born in Volos, Greece, to a Genovese mother and a Sicilian father. He founded the scuola metafisica art movement...

, Ernst, Masson, and Man Ray.

Bureau of Surrealist Research

The Bureau of Surrealist Research (Centrale Surréaliste) was the center for Surrealist writers and artists to meet, hold discussions, and conduct interviews. They investigated speech under trance.

Expansion

The movement in the mid-1920s was characterized by meetings in cafes where the Surrealists played collaborative drawing games, discussed the theories of Surrealism, and developed a variety of techniques
Surrealist techniques
Surrealism in art, poetry, and literature uses numerous techniques and games to provide inspiration. Many of these are said to free imagination by producing a creative process free of conscious control. The importance of the unconscious as a source of inspiration is central to the nature of...

 such as automatic drawing. Breton initially doubted that visual arts could even be useful in the Surrealist movement since they appeared to be less malleable and open to chance and automatism
Surrealist automatism
Automatism has taken on many forms: the automatic writing and drawing initially practiced by surrealists can be compared to similar, or perhaps parallel phenomena, such as the non-idiomatic improvisation of free jazz....

. This caution was overcome by the discovery of such techniques as frottage
Frottage (art)
In art, frottage is a surrealist and "automatic" method of creative production developed by Max Ernst.In frottage the artist takes a pencil or other drawing tool and makes a rubbing over a textured surface. The drawing can be left as is or used as the basis for further refinement...

 and decalcomania
Decalcomania
Decalcomania, from the French décalcomanie, is a decorative technique by which engravings and prints may be transferred to pottery or other materials. It was invented in England about 1750 and imported into the United States at least as early as 1865...

.

Soon more visual artists became involved, including Giorgio de Chirico
Giorgio de Chirico
Giorgio de Chirico was a pre-Surrealist and then Surrealist Italian painter born in Volos, Greece, to a Genovese mother and a Sicilian father. He founded the scuola metafisica art movement...

, Max Ernst
Max Ernst
Max Ernst was a German painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet. A prolific artist, Ernst was one of the primary pioneers of the Dada movement and Surrealism.-Early life:...

, Joan Miró
Joan Miró
Joan Miró i Ferrà was a Spanish Catalan painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona.Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride...

, Francis Picabia
Francis Picabia
Francis Picabia was a French painter, poet, and typographist, associated with both the Dada and Surrealist art movements.- Early life :...

, Yves Tanguy
Yves Tanguy
Raymond Georges Yves Tanguy , known as Yves Tanguy, was a French surrealist painter.-Biography:Tanguy was born in Paris, France, the son of a retired navy captain. His parents were both of Breton origin...

, Salvador Dalí
Salvador Dalí
Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol , commonly known as Salvador Dalí , was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres,Spain....

, Luis Buñuel
Luis Buñuel
Luis Buñuel Portolés was a Spanish-born filmmaker — later a naturalized citizen of Mexico — who worked in Spain, Mexico, France and the US..-Early years:...

, Alberto Giacometti
Alberto Giacometti
Alberto Giacometti was a Swiss sculptor, painter, draughtsman, and printmaker.Alberto Giacometti was born in the canton Graubünden's southerly alpine valley Val Bregaglia and came from an artistic background; his father, Giovanni, was a well-known post-Impressionist painter...

, Valentine Hugo
Valentine Hugo
Valentine Hugo was an artist; she was born Valentine Gross in Boulogne-sur-Mer and died in Paris.Valentine studied painting in Paris, and in 1919 married French artist Jean Hugo , great-grandson of Victor Hugo...

, Méret Oppenheim
Méret Oppenheim
-External links:**** http://www.artchive.com/artchive/M/man_ray.html...

, Toyen
Toyen
Marie Čermínová , known as Toyen, was a Czech painter, draftsperson and illustrator and a member of the surrealist movement.-Biography:...

, and later after the second war: Enrico Donati
Enrico Donati
Enrico Donati was an American Surrealist painter and sculptor of Italian birth.-Life and work:Enrico Donati studied economics at the Università degli Studi, Pavia, and in 1934 moved to the USA, where he attended the New School for Social Research and the Art Students League of New York...

. Though Breton admired Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

 and Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Considered by some to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Duchamp's output influenced the development of post-World War I Western art...

 and courted them to join the movement, they remained peripheral. More writers also joined, including former Dadaist Tristan Tzara
Tristan Tzara
Tristan Tzara was a Romanian and French avant-garde poet, essayist and performance artist. Also active as a journalist, playwright, literary and art critic, composer and film director, he was known best for being one of the founders and central figures of the anti-establishment Dada movement...

, René Char
René Char
René Char was a 20th century French poet.-Biography:Char was born in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue in the Vaucluse department of France, the youngest of four children of Emile Char and Marie-Therese Rouget, where his father was mayor and managing director of the Vaucluse plasterworks...

, and Georges Sadoul
Georges Sadoul
Georges Sadoul was a French journalist and cinema writer.Once a surrealist, he became a communist in 1932. He was a journalist of the Lettres Françaises....

.

In 1925 an autonomous Surrealist group formed in Brussels. The group included the musician, poet, and artist E. L. T. Mesens, painter and writer René Magritte
René Magritte
René François Ghislain Magritte[p] was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images...

, Paul Nougé
Paul Nougé
Paul Nougé was a Belgian poet, philosopher and surrealist photographer who heavily influenced the Belgian Surrealist School of which he was a member....

, Marcel Lecomte
Marcel Lecomte
Marcel Lecomte was a Belgian writer, member of the Belgian surrealist movement. In 1918 he was introduced to dadaism and Eastern philosophy by Clément Pansaers. He also started to study literature and philosophy at the Université Libre de Bruxelles that year, but he left the studies in 1920...

, and André Souris
André Souris
André Souris was a Belgian composer, conductor, musicologist, and writer associated with the surrealist movement.-Biography:...

. In 1927 they were joined by the writer Louis Scutenaire
Louis Scutenaire
Louis Scutenaire was a poet, anarchist, surrealist and civil servant. Born Jean Émile Louis Scutenaire in Ollignies, Belgium; died in Brussels.-Life:...

. They corresponded regularly with the Paris group, and in 1927 both Goemans and Magritte moved to Paris and frequented Breton's circle. The artists, with their roots in Dada
Dada
Dada or Dadaism is a cultural movement that began in Zurich, Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from 1916 to 1922. The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature—poetry, art manifestoes, art theory—theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a...

 and Cubism
Cubism
Cubism was a 20th century avant-garde art movement, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music, literature and architecture...

, the abstraction of Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Kandinsky
Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was an influential Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting the first purely-abstract works. Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa. He enrolled at the University of Moscow, studying law and economics...

, Expressionism
Expressionism
Expressionism was a modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. Its typical trait is to present the world solely from a subjective perspective, distorting it radically for emotional effect in order to evoke moods or ideas...

, and Post-Impressionism
Post-Impressionism
Post-Impressionism is the term coined by the British artist and art critic Roger Fry in 1910 to describe the development of French art since Manet. Fry used the term when he organized the 1910 exhibition Manet and Post-Impressionism...

, also reached to older "bloodlines" such as Hieronymus Bosch, and the so-called primitive and naive arts.

André Masson
André Masson
André-Aimé-René Masson was a French artist.-Biography:Masson was born in Balagny-sur-Thérain, Oise, but was brought up in Belgium. He began his study of art at the age of eleven in Brussels, at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts under the guidance of Constant Montald, and later he studied in Paris...

's automatic drawings of 1923, are often used as the point of the acceptance of visual arts and the break from Dada, since they reflect the influence of the idea of the unconscious mind
Unconscious mind
The unconscious mind is a term coined by the 18th century German romantic philosopher Friedrich Schelling and later introduced into English by the poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge...

. Another example is Giacometti's 1925 Torso, which marked his movement to simplified forms and inspiration from preclassical sculpture.

However, a striking example of the line used to divide Dada and Surrealism among art experts is the pairing of 1925's Little Machine Constructed by Minimax Dadamax in Person (Von minimax dadamax selbst konstruiertes maschinchen) with The Kiss (Le Baiser) from 1927 by Max Ernst. The first is generally held to have a distance, and erotic subtext, whereas the second presents an erotic act openly and directly. In the second the influence of Miró
Joan Miró
Joan Miró i Ferrà was a Spanish Catalan painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona.Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride...

 and the drawing style of Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

 is visible with the use of fluid curving and intersecting lines and colour, whereas the first takes a directness that would later be influential in movements such as Pop art
Pop art
Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the mid 1950s in Britain and in the late 1950s in the United States. Pop art challenged tradition by asserting that an artist's use of the mass-produced visual commodities of popular culture is contiguous with the perspective of fine art...

.
Giorgio de Chirico, and his previous development of metaphysical art
Metaphysical art
Metaphysical art , style of painting that flourished mainly between 1911 and 1920 in the works of the Italian artists Giorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carrà. The movement began with Chirico, whose dreamlike works with sharp contrasts of light and shadow often had a vaguely threatening, mysterious quality...

, was one of the important joining figures between the philosophical and visual aspects of Surrealism. Between 1911 and 1917, he adopted an unornamented depictional style whose surface would be adopted by others later. The Red Tower (La tour rouge) from 1913 shows the stark colour contrasts and illustrative style later adopted by Surrealist painters. His 1914 The Nostalgia of the Poet (La Nostalgie du poete) has the figure turned away from the viewer, and the juxtaposition of a bust with glasses and a fish as a relief defies conventional explanation. He was also a writer whose novel Hebdomeros presents a series of dreamscapes with an unusual use of punctuation, syntax, and grammar designed to create an atmosphere and frame around its images. His images, including set designs for the Ballets Russes
Ballets Russes
The Ballets Russes was an itinerant ballet company from Russia which performed between 1909 and 1929 in many countries. Directed by Sergei Diaghilev, it is regarded as the greatest ballet company of the 20th century. Many of its dancers originated from the Imperial Ballet of Saint Petersburg...

, would create a decorative form of Surrealism, and he would be an influence on the two artists who would be even more closely associated with Surrealism in the public mind: Dalí and Magritte. He would, however, leave the Surrealist group in 1928.

In 1924, Miró and Masson applied Surrealism to painting, explicitly leading to the La Peinture Surrealiste exhibition of 1925, held at Gallerie Pierre in Paris, and displaying works by Masson, Man Ray
Man Ray
Man Ray , born Emmanuel Radnitzky, was an American artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. Perhaps best described simply as a modernist, he was a significant contributor to both the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal...

, Paul Klee
Paul Klee
Paul Klee was born in Münchenbuchsee, Switzerland, and is considered both a German and a Swiss painter. His highly individual style was influenced by movements in art that included expressionism, cubism, and surrealism. He was, as well, a student of orientalism...

, Miró, and others. The show confirmed that Surrealism had a component in the visual arts (though it had been initially debated whether this was possible), and techniques from Dada, such as photomontage
Photomontage
Photomontage is the process and result of making a composite photograph by cutting and joining a number of other photographs. The composite picture was sometimes photographed so that the final image is converted back into a seamless photographic print. A similar method, although one that does not...

, were used. The following year, on March 26, 1926 Galerie Surréaliste opened with an exhibition by Man Ray. Breton published Surrealism and Painting in 1928 which summarized the movement to that point, though he continued to update the work until the 1960s.

Major exhibitions in the 1920s
  • 1925 - La Peinture Surrealiste - The first ever Surrealist exhibition at Gallerie Pierre in Paris. Displayed works by Masson, Man Ray, Klee, Miró, and others. The show confirmed that Surrealism had a component in the visual arts (though it had been initially debated whether this was possible), techniques from Dada, such as photomontage
    Photomontage
    Photomontage is the process and result of making a composite photograph by cutting and joining a number of other photographs. The composite picture was sometimes photographed so that the final image is converted back into a seamless photographic print. A similar method, although one that does not...

     were used.
  • Galerie Surréaliste opened on March 26, 1926 with an exhibition by Man Ray.

Writing continues

The first Surrealist work, according to leader Breton, was Les Champs Magnétiques
Les Champs Magnétiques
Les Champs Magnétiques is a book by André Breton and Philippe Soupault. It is famed as the first work of literary Surrealism...

(May–June 1919). Littérature contained automatist works and accounts of dreams. The magazine and the portfolio both showed their disdain for literal meanings given to objects and focused rather on the undertones, the poetic undercurrents present. Not only did they give emphasis to the poetic undercurrents, but also to the connotations and the overtones which "exist in ambiguous relationships to the visual images."

Because Surrealist writers seldom, if ever, appear to organize their thoughts and the images they present, some people find much of their work difficult to parse. This notion however is a superficial comprehension, prompted no doubt by Breton's initial emphasis on automatic writing as the main route toward a higher reality. But—as in Breton's case—much of what is presented as purely automatic is actually edited and very "thought out". Breton himself later admitted that automatic writing's centrality had been overstated, and other elements were introduced, especially as the growing involvement of visual artists in the movement forced the issue, since automatic painting required a rather more strenuous set of approaches. Thus such elements as collage were introduced, arising partly from an ideal of startling juxtapositions as revealed in Pierre Reverdy
Pierre Reverdy
Pierre Reverdy was a French poet associated with surrealism and cubism.Pierre Reverdy was born in Narbonne and grew up near the Montagne Noire in his father's house. Reverdy came from a family of sculptors. His father taught him to read and write. He studied at Toulouse and Narbonne.Reverdy...

's poetry. And—as in Magritte's case (where there is no obvious recourse to either automatic techniques or collage)—the very notion of convulsive joining became a tool for revelation in and of itself. Surrealism was meant to be always in flux—to be more modern than modern—and so it was natural there should be a rapid shuffling of the philosophy as new challenges arose.

Surrealists revived interest in Isidore Ducasse, known by his pseudonym Comte de Lautréamont
Comte de Lautréamont
Comte de Lautréamont was the pseudonym of Isidore Lucien Ducasse , an Uruguayan-born French poet....

, and for the line "beautiful as the chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella," and Arthur Rimbaud
Arthur Rimbaud
Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was a French poet. Born in Charleville, Ardennes, he produced his best known works while still in his late teens—Victor Hugo described him at the time as "an infant Shakespeare"—and he gave up creative writing altogether before the age of 21. As part of the decadent...

, two late 19th century writers believed to be the precursors of Surrealism.

Examples of Surrealist literature are Crevel's Mr. Knife Miss Fork (1931), Aragon's Irene's Cunt (1927), Breton's Sur la route de San Romano (1948), Péret's Death to the Pigs (1929), and Artaud's Le Pese-Nerfs (1926).

La Révolution surréaliste
La Révolution surréaliste
La Révolution surréaliste was a publication by the Surrealists in Paris. Twelve issues were published between 1924 and 1929....

continued publication into 1929 with most pages densely packed with columns of text, but also included reproductions of art, among them works by de Chirico, Ernst, Masson, and Man Ray. Other works included books, poems, pamphlets, automatic texts and theoretical tracts.

Surrealist films

Early films by Surrealists include:
  • Entr'acte
    Entr'acte (film)
    Entr'acte is a 1924 French short film directed by René Clair, which premiered as an entr'acte for the Ballets Suédois production Relâche at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. Relâche is based on a book and with settings by Francis Picabia, produced by Rolf de Maré, and with choreography by...

    by René Clair
    René Clair
    René Clair born René-Lucien Chomette, was a French filmmaker.-Biography:He was born in Paris and grew up in the Les Halles quarter. He attended the Lycée Montaigne and the Lycée Louis-le-Grand. During World War I, he served as an ambulance driver. After the war, he started a career as a journalist...

     (1924)
  • La Coquille et le clergyman
    The Seashell and the Clergyman
    The Seashell and the Clergyman is considered by many to be the first surrealist film.-Production background:The film was directed by Germaine Dulac, from an original scenario by Antonin Artaud, and premiered in Paris on 9 February 1928...

    by Germaine Dulac
    Germaine Dulac
    Germaine Dulac was a French filmmaker, film theorist, journalist and critic. She was born in Amiens and moved to Paris in early childhood. A few years after her marriage she embarked on a journalistic career in a feminist magazine, and later became interested in film...

    , screenplay by Antonin Artaud (1928)
  • L'Étoile de mer
    L'Étoile de mer
    L'Étoile de mer is a 1928 film directed by Man Ray. The film is based on a script by Robert Desnos and depicts a couple acting through scenes that are shot out of focus.-Synopsis:...

    by Man Ray (1928)
  • Un Chien Andalou
    Un chien andalou
    Un Chien Andalou is a 1929 silent surrealist short film by the Spanish director Luis Buñuel and artist Salvador Dalí. It was Buñuel's first film and was initially released in 1929 to a limited showing in Paris, but became popular and ran for eight months....

    by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí (1929)
  • L'Âge d'Or
    L'Âge d'Or
    L'Âge d'or is a 1930 surrealist film directed by Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel and written by him and Salvador Dalí.The film began as a second collaboration with Dalí, but, by the time the film went into production, Buñuel and Dalí had had a falling-out, and so Dalí actually had nothing to do with...

    by Buñuel and Dalí (1930)
  • Le sang d'un poète
    The Blood of a Poet
    The Blood of a Poet is an avant-garde film directed by Jean Cocteau and financed by Charles de Noailles. Photographer Lee Miller made her only film appearance in this movie, and it also features an appearance by the famed aerialist Barbette...

    by Jean Cocteau
    Jean Cocteau
    Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. His circle of associates, friends and lovers included Kenneth Anger, Pablo Picasso, Jean Hugo, Jean Marais, Henri Bernstein, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Erik Satie, María...

     (1930)
  • L’imitation du cinema by Marcel Mariën
    Marcel Mariën
    Marcel Mariën was a Belgian surrealist , poet, essayist, photographer, collagist, filmmaker, and maker of objects....

     1959

Surrealist theatre

The word surrealist was first used by Guillaume Apollinaire
Guillaume Apollinaire
Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki, known as Guillaume Apollinaire was a French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic born in Italy to a Polish mother....

 to describe his 1917 play Les Mamelles de Tirésias
The Breasts of Tiresias
The Breasts of Tiresias is a surrealist play by Guillaume Apollinaire. Written in 1903, the play received its first production in a revised version in 1917...

 (The Breasts of Tiresias), which was later adapted into an opera
Les mamelles de Tirésias
Les mamelles de Tirésias is a surrealist two-act opéra bouffe by Francis Poulenc, based on the play of the same title by Guillaume Apollinaire, which was written in 1903 but first performed in 1917...

 by Francis Poulenc
Francis Poulenc
Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc was a French composer and a member of the French group Les six. He composed solo piano music, chamber music, oratorio, choral music, opera, ballet music, and orchestral music...

.

Antonin Artaud, an early Surrealist, rejected the majority of Western theatre as a perversion of its original intent, which he felt should be a mystical, metaphysical experience. He thought that rational discourse comprised "falsehood and illusion." Theorising a new theatrical form that would be immediate and direct, that would link the unconscious minds of performers and spectators in a sort of ritual event, Artaud created the Theatre of Cruelty
Theatre of Cruelty
The Theatre of Cruelty is a surrealist form of theatre theorised by Antonin Artaud in his book The Theatre and its Double. "Without an element of cruelty at the root of every spectacle," he writes, "the theatre is not possible...

, in which emotions, feelings, and the metaphysical were expressed not through language but physically, creating a mythological, archetypal, allegorical vision, closely related to the world of dreams.

The other major theatre practitioner to have experimented with surrealism in the theatre is the Spanish playwright and director Federico García Lorca
Federico García Lorca
Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca was a Spanish poet, dramatist and theatre director. García Lorca achieved international recognition as an emblematic member of the Generation of '27. He is believed to be one of thousands who were summarily shot by anti-communist death squads...

, particularly in his plays The Public (1930), When Five Years Pass
When Five Years Pass
When Five Years Pass , also known as If Five Years Pass and When Five Years Have Passed, is a play by the twentieth-century Spanish dramatist Federico García Lorca. It was written in 1931 but was not given a professional theatrical production until several years after Lorca's death, despite plans...

(1931), and Play Without a Title (1935). Other surrealist plays include Aragon's Backs to the Wall (1925) and Roger Vitrac
Roger Vitrac
Roger Vitrac was a French surrealist playwright and poet.Born in Pinsac, Roger Vitrac moved to Paris in 1910. As a young man, he was influenced by symbolism and the writings of Lautréamont and Alfred Jarry, and he developed a passion for theatre and poetry...

's The Mysteries of Love (1927) and Victor, or The Children Take Over (1928). Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein was an American writer, poet and art collector who spent most of her life in France.-Early life:...

's opera Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights
Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights
Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights is a libretto for an opera by the American modernist playwright and poet Gertrude Stein. For avant-garde theatre artists from the United States, the text has formed something of a rite of passage—the Judson Poets’ Group, the Living Theatre, Richard Foreman, Robert...

(1938) has also been described as "American Surrealism," though it is also related to a theatrical form of cubism
Cubism
Cubism was a 20th century avant-garde art movement, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music, literature and architecture...

.

Music by Surrealists

In the 1920s several composers were influenced by Surrealism, or by individuals in the Surrealist movement. Among them were Bohuslav Martinů
Bohuslav Martinu
Bohuslav Martinů was a prolific Czech composer of modern classical music. He was of Czech and Rumanian ancestry. Martinů wrote six symphonies, 15 operas, 14 ballet scores and a large body of orchestral, chamber, vocal and instrumental works. Martinů became a violinist in the Czech Philharmonic...

, André Souris
André Souris
André Souris was a Belgian composer, conductor, musicologist, and writer associated with the surrealist movement.-Biography:...

, and Edgard Varèse
Edgard Varèse
Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse, , whose name was also spelled Edgar Varèse , was an innovative French-born composer who spent the greater part of his career in the United States....

, who stated that his work Arcana was drawn from a dream sequence. Souris in particular was associated with the movement: he had a long relationship with Magritte, and worked on Paul Nouge
Paul Nougé
Paul Nougé was a Belgian poet, philosopher and surrealist photographer who heavily influenced the Belgian Surrealist School of which he was a member....

's publication Adieu Marie.

Germaine Tailleferre
Germaine Tailleferre
Germaine Tailleferre was a French composer and the only female member of the famous composers' group Les Six.-Biography:...

 of the French group Les Six
Les Six
Les six is a name, inspired by The Five, given in 1920 by critic Henri Collet in an article titled "" to a group of six composers working in Montparnasse whose music is often seen as a reaction against the musical style of Richard Wagner and impressionist music.-Members:Formally, the Groupe des...

 wrote several works which could be considered to be inspired by Surrealism, including the 1948 Ballet Paris-Magie (scenario by Lise Deharme
Lise Deharme
Lise Deharme , was a French writer associated with the Surrealist movement.She was born in Paris in 1898, daughter of a famous doctor...

), the Operas La Petite Sirène (book by Philippe Soupault) and Le Maître (book by Eugène Ionesco). Tailleferre also wrote popular songs to texts by Claude Marci, the wife of Henri Jeanson, whose portrait had been painted by Magritte in the 1930s.

Even though Breton by 1946 responded rather negatively to the subject of music with his essay Silence is Golden, later Surrealists, such as Paul Garon
Paul Garon
Paul Garon is an author, writer, and editor, noted for his meditations on surrealist works, and also a noted scholar on blues as a musical and cultural movement. He was one of the founding editors of Living Blues magazine in 1970...

, have been interested in—and found parallels to—Surrealism in the improvisation of jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 and the blues
Blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

. Jazz and blues musicians have occasionally reciprocated this interest. For example, the 1976 World Surrealist Exhibition included performances by David Honeyboy Edwards
David Honeyboy Edwards
David "Honeyboy" Edwards was a Delta blues guitarist and singer from the American South. Edwards was the last Delta bluesman before his 2011 death.-Life and career:Edwards was born in Shaw, Mississippi...

.

Surrealism and international politics

Surrealism as a political force developed unevenly around the world: In some places more emphasis was on artistic practices, in other places on political practices, and in other places still, Surrealist praxis looked to supersede both the arts and politics. During the 1930s, the Surrealist idea spread from Europe to North America, South America (founding of the Mandrágora
Mandrágora
For other uses see Mandragora .La Mandrágora was a Chilean Surrealist group "officially founded" on 12 July 1938 by Braulio Arenas , Teófilo Cid and Enrique Gómez Correa . The group had met in Talca and first started exchanging in 1932...

group in Chile in 1938), Central America
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

, the Caribbean, and throughout Asia, as both an artistic idea and as an ideology of political change.

Politically, Surrealism was Trotskyist
Trotskyism
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class...

, communist, or anarchist. The split from Dada has been characterised as a split between anarchists and communists, with the Surrealists as communist. Breton and his comrades supported Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

 and his International Left Opposition for a while, though there was an openness to anarchism that manifested more fully after World War II. Some Surrealists, such as Benjamin Péret
Benjamin Péret
Benjamin Péret was a French poet, Parisian Dadaist and a founder and central member of the French Surrealist movement with his avid use of Surrealist automatism.-Biography:...

, Mary Low, and Juan Breá, aligned with forms of left communism
Left communism
Left communism is the range of communist viewpoints held by the communist left, which criticizes the political ideas of the Bolsheviks at certain periods, from a position that is asserted to be more authentically Marxist and proletarian than the views of Leninism held by the Communist International...

. Dalí
Salvador Dalí
Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol , commonly known as Salvador Dalí , was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres,Spain....

 supported capitalism and the fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

 but cannot be said to represent a trend in Surrealism in this respect; in fact he was considered, by Breton and his associates, to have betrayed and left Surrealism. Benjamin Péret, Mary Low and Juan Breá joined the POUM
Workers' Party of Marxist Unification
The Workers' Party of Marxist Unification was a Spanish communist political party formed during the Second Republic and mainly active around the Spanish Civil War...

 during the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

.

Breton's followers, along with the Communist Party
Communist party
A political party described as a Communist party includes those that advocate the application of the social principles of communism through a communist form of government...

, were working for the "liberation of man." However, Breton's group refused to prioritize the proletarian struggle over radical creation such that their struggles with the Party made the late 1920s a turbulent time for both. Many individuals closely associated with Breton, notably Louis Aragon
Louis Aragon
Louis Aragon , was a French poet, novelist and editor, a long-time member of the Communist Party and a member of the Académie Goncourt.- Early life :...

, left his group to work more closely with the Communists.

Surrealists have often sought to link their efforts with political ideals and activities. In the Declaration of January 27, 1925, for example, members of the Paris-based Bureau of Surrealist Research
Bureau of Surrealist Research
The Bureau of Surrealist Research, also known as the Centrale Surréaliste or "Bureau of Surrealist Enquiries" was a Paris-based office in which a loosely affiliated group of Surrealist writers and artists gathered to meet, hold discussions, and conduct interviews in order to "gather all the...

 (including André Breton, Louis Aragon, and, Antonin Artaud, as well as some two dozen others) declared their affinity for revolutionary politics. While this was initially a somewhat vague formulation, by the 1930s many Surrealists had strongly identified themselves with communism. The foremost document of this tendency within Surrealism is the Manifesto for a Free Revolutionary Art, published under the names of Breton and Diego Rivera
Diego Rivera
Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez was a prominent Mexican painter born in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, an active communist, and husband of Frida Kahlo . His large wall works in fresco helped establish the Mexican Mural Movement in...

, but actually co-authored by Breton and Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

.

However, in 1933 the Surrealists’ assertion that a 'proletarian literature' within a capitalist society was impossible led to their break with the Association des Ecrivains et Artistes Révolutionnaires, and the expulsion of Breton, Éluard and Crevel from the Communist Party.

In 1925, the Paris Surrealist group and the extreme left of the French Communist Party
French Communist Party
The French Communist Party is a political party in France which advocates the principles of communism.Although its electoral support has declined in recent decades, the PCF retains a large membership, behind only that of the Union for a Popular Movement , and considerable influence in French...

 came together to support Abd-el-Krim, leader of the Rif
Rif
The Rif or Riff is a mainly mountainous region of northern Morocco, with some fertile plains, stretching from Cape Spartel and Tangier in the west to Ras Kebdana and the Melwiyya River in the east, and from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to the river of Wergha in the south.It is part of the...

 uprising against French colonialism in Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

. In an open letter to writer and French ambassador to Japan, Paul Claudel
Paul Claudel
Paul Claudel was a French poet, dramatist and diplomat, and the younger brother of the sculptor Camille Claudel. He was most famous for his verse dramas, which often convey his devout Catholicism.-Life:...

, the Paris group announced:
"We Surrealists pronounced ourselves in favour of changing the imperialist war, in its chronic and colonial form, into a civil war. Thus we placed our energies at the disposal of the revolution, of the proletariat and its struggles, and defined our attitude towards the colonial problem, and hence towards the colour question."


The anticolonial revolutionary and proletarian politics of "Murderous Humanitarianism" (1932) which was drafted mainly by René Crevel
René Crevel
René Crevel was a French writer involved with the surrealist movement.-Life:Crevel was born in Paris to a family of Parisian bourgeoisie. He had a traumatic religious upbringing. At the age of fourteen, during a difficult stage of his life, his father committed suicide by hanging himself. Crevel...

, signed by André Breton
André Breton
André Breton was a French writer and poet. He is known best as the founder of Surrealism. His writings include the first Surrealist Manifesto of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as "pure psychic automatism"....

, Paul Éluard
Paul Éluard
Paul Éluard, born Eugène Émile Paul Grindel , was a French poet who was one of the founders of the surrealist movement.-Biography:...

, Benjamin Péret
Benjamin Péret
Benjamin Péret was a French poet, Parisian Dadaist and a founder and central member of the French Surrealist movement with his avid use of Surrealist automatism.-Biography:...

, Yves Tanguy
Yves Tanguy
Raymond Georges Yves Tanguy , known as Yves Tanguy, was a French surrealist painter.-Biography:Tanguy was born in Paris, France, the son of a retired navy captain. His parents were both of Breton origin...

, and the Martiniquan Surrealists Pierre Yoyotte and J.M. Monnerot perhaps makes it the original document of what is later called 'black Surrealism', although it is the contact between Aimé Césaire
Aimé Césaire
Aimé Fernand David Césaire was a French poet, author and politician from Martinique. He was "one of the founders of the négritude movement in Francophone literature".-Student, educator, and poet:...

 and Breton in the 1940s in Martinique that really lead to the communication of what is known as 'black Surrealism'.

Anticolonial revolutionary writers in the Négritude
Négritude
Négritude is a literary and ideological movement, developed by francophone black intellectuals, writers, and politiciansin France in the 1930s by a group that included the future Senegalese President Léopold Sédar Senghor, Martinican poet Aimé Césaire, and the Guianan Léon Damas.The Négritude...

 movement of Martinique
Martinique
Martinique is an island in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a land area of . Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department. To the northwest lies Dominica, to the south St Lucia, and to the southeast Barbados...

, a French colony at the time, took up Surrealism as a revolutionary method - a critique of European culture and a radical subjective. This linked with other Surrealists and was very important for the subsequent development of Surrealism as a revolutionary praxis. The journal Tropiques, featuring the work of Cesaire along with Suzanne Césaire, René Ménil
René Ménil
René Ménil was a French surrealist writer and philosopher who lived on the island of Martinique.Born and raised on the island of Martinique, Ménil was one of several of the island's natives who studied in France and returned to influence the independence movement with the ideas of Marxism, and...

, Lucie Thésée, Aristide Maugée and others, was first published in 1941.

It is interesting to note that when in 1938 André Breton traveled with his wife the painter Jacqueline Lamba to Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 to meet Trotsky; staying as the guest of Diego Rivera
Diego Rivera
Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez was a prominent Mexican painter born in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, an active communist, and husband of Frida Kahlo . His large wall works in fresco helped establish the Mexican Mural Movement in...

's former wife Guadalupe Marin; he met Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacán, and perhaps best known for her self-portraits....

 and saw her paintings for the first time. Breton declared Kahlo to be an "innate" Surrealist painter.

Internal politics

In 1929 the satellite group around the journal Le Grand Jeu, including Roger Gilbert-Lecomte
Roger Gilbert-Lecomte
Roger Gilbert-Lecomte was a French avant-garde poet and co-founder of the artistic group and magazine Le Grand Jeu. The group, associated with surrealists, was "excommunicated" from the movement by André Breton...

, Maurice Henry and the Czech painter Josef Sima
Josef Sima
Josef Šíma was a renowned Czech painter, an important figure of modern European art.- Biography :After graduating from Academy of Arts in Prague where he was the student of Jan Preisler he was involved in the Devětsil movement and in Umělecká beseda in Prague before travelling to Paris in 1921. He...

, was ostracized. Also in February, Breton asked Surrealists to assess their "degree of moral competence", and theoretical refinements included in the second manifeste du surréalisme
Surrealist Manifesto
Two Surrealist Manifestos were issued by the Surrealist movement, in 1924 and 1929. The first was written by André Breton, the second was supervised by him. Breton drafted a third Surrealist manifesto which was never issued.-First manifesto:...

excluded anyone reluctant to commit to collective action, a list which included Leiris
Michel Leiris
Julien Michel Leiris was a French surrealist writer and ethnographer.-Biography:...

, Georges Limbour
Georges Limbour
Georges Limbour was a French writer of prose and poetry.He was a member of the Surrealist Movement in Paris during the 1920s, but was expelled in 1929. Before his association with André Breton and the Surrealists, Limbour co-edited, along with Roger Vitrac and René Crevel, the avant-garde review...

, Max Morise
Max Morise
Max Morise was a French artist, writer & actor, associated with the Surrealist movement in Paris from 1924 to 1929. He was friends with Robert Desnos and Roger Vitrac before they joined the Surrealist movement. He contributed articles to La Revolution Surrealiste and took part in a series of...

, Baron
Jacques Baron
Jacques Baron was a French surrealist poet whose first collection of poems was published in Aventure in 1921. Although he was initially involved with the Dada movement, he became a founding member of the Surrealist movement following his meeting with André Breton in 1921, and contributed to La...

, Queneau
Raymond Queneau
Raymond Queneau was a French poet and novelist and the co-founder of Ouvroir de littérature potentielle .-Biography:Born in Le Havre, Seine-Maritime, Queneau was the only child of Auguste Queneau and Joséphine Mignot...

, Prévert
Jacques Prévert
Jacques Prévert was a French poet and screenwriter. His poems became and remain very popular in the French-speaking world, particularly in schools. Some of the movies he wrote are extremely well regarded, with Les Enfants du Paradis considered one of the greatest films of all time.-Life and...

, Desnos
Robert Desnos
Robert Desnos , was a French surrealist poet who played a key role in the Surrealist movement of his day.- Biography :...

, Masson
André Masson
André-Aimé-René Masson was a French artist.-Biography:Masson was born in Balagny-sur-Thérain, Oise, but was brought up in Belgium. He began his study of art at the age of eleven in Brussels, at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts under the guidance of Constant Montald, and later he studied in Paris...

 and Boiffard
Jacques-André Boiffard
Jacques-André Boiffard is a French photographer, born in Paris, lived in Roche-sur-Yon. He was a medical student until 1924 when he met André Breton through Pierre Naville, a Surrealist writer, and childhood friend....

. Excluded members launched a counterattack, sharply criticizing Breton in the pamphlet Un Cadavre
Un Cadavre
Un Cadavre was the name of two separate surrealist pamphlets published in France in October of 1924, and January of 1930, respectively.-Pamphlet of October 18th, 1924:...

, which featured a picture of Breton wearing a crown of thorns
Crown of Thorns
In Christianity, the Crown of Thorns, one of the instruments of the Passion, was woven of thorn branches and placed on Jesus Christ before his crucifixion...

. The pamphlet drew upon an earlier act of subversion by likening Breton to Anatole France
Anatole France
Anatole France , born François-Anatole Thibault, , was a French poet, journalist, and novelist. He was born in Paris, and died in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire. He was a successful novelist, with several best-sellers. Ironic and skeptical, he was considered in his day the ideal French man of letters...

, whose unquestioned value Breton had challenged in 1924.

In hindsight, the disunion of 1929-30 and the effects of Un Cadavre had very little negative impact upon Surrealism as Breton saw it, since core figures such as Aragon, Crevel, Dalí and Buñuel remained true the idea of group action, at least for the time being. The success (or at least the controversy) of Dalí and Buñuel's film L'Age d'Or
L'Âge d'Or
L'Âge d'or is a 1930 surrealist film directed by Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel and written by him and Salvador Dalí.The film began as a second collaboration with Dalí, but, by the time the film went into production, Buñuel and Dalí had had a falling-out, and so Dalí actually had nothing to do with...

 in December 1930 had a regenerative effect, drawing a number of new recruits, and encouraging countless new artistic works the following year and throughout the 1930s.

Disgruntled surrealists moved to the periodical Documents, edited by Georges Bataille
Georges Bataille
Georges Bataille was a French writer. His multifaceted work is linked to the domains of literature, anthropology, philosophy, economy, sociology and history of art...

, whose anti-idealist materialism formed a hybrid Surrealism intending to expose the base instincts of humans. To the dismay of many, Documents fizzled out in 1931, just as Surrealism seemed to be gathering more steam.

There were a number of reconciliations after this period of disunion, such as between Breton and Bataille, while Aragon left the group after committing himself to the communist party
Communist party
A political party described as a Communist party includes those that advocate the application of the social principles of communism through a communist form of government...

 in 1932. More members were ousted over the years for a variety of infractions, both political and personal, while others left of to pursue creativity of their own style.

By the end of World War II the surrealist group led by André Breton decided to explicitly embrace anarchism. In 1952 Breton wrote "It was in the black mirror of anarchism that surrealism first recognised itself." "Breton was consistent in his support for the francophone Anarchist Federation and he continued to offer his solidarity after the Platformist
Platformism
Platformism is a tendency within the wider anarchist movement originally theorised by Nestor Makhno and is mainly based on his concept of anarchism and the organisational theories in the tradition of Dielo Truda's Organizational Platform of the General Union of Anarchists ...

s around Fontenis transformed the FA into the Federation Communiste Libertaire. He was one of the few intellectuals who continued to offer his support to the FCL during the Algerian war when the FCL suffered severe repression and was forced underground. He sheltered Fontenis whilst he was in hiding. He refused to take sides on the splits in the French anarchist movement and both he and Peret expressed solidarity as well with the new FA set up by the synthesist anarchists and worked in the Antifascist Committees of the 60s alongside the FA."

Golden age

Throughout the 1930s, Surrealism continued to become more visible to the public at large. A Surrealist group developed in Britain
British Surrealist Group
The British Surrealist Group was involved in the organisation of the International Surrealist Exhibition in London in 1936.The London Bulletin was published by the Surrealist Group in England, according to the June 1940 edition , edited by E. L. T...

 and, according to Breton, their 1936 London International Surrealist Exhibition
London International Surrealist Exhibition
The International Surrealist Exhibition was held from 11 June to 4 July 1936 at the New Burlington Galleries in London, England.The exhibition was organised by:* Hugh Sykes Davies* David Gascoyne* Humphrey Jennings* Rupert Lee* Diana Brinton Lee...

 was a high water mark of the period and became the model for international exhibitions.

Dalí and Magritte created the most widely recognized images of the movement. Dalí joined the group in 1929, and participated in the rapid establishment of the visual style between 1930 and 1935.

Surrealism as a visual movement had found a method: to expose psychological truth by stripping ordinary objects of their normal significance, in order to create a compelling image that was beyond ordinary formal organization, in order to evoke empathy from the viewer.

1931 was a year when several Surrealist painters produced works which marked turning points in their stylistic evolution: Magritte's Voice of Space (La Voix des airs) is an example of this process, where three large spheres representing bells hang above a landscape. Another Surrealist landscape from this same year is Yves Tanguy
Yves Tanguy
Raymond Georges Yves Tanguy , known as Yves Tanguy, was a French surrealist painter.-Biography:Tanguy was born in Paris, France, the son of a retired navy captain. His parents were both of Breton origin...

's Promontory Palace (Palais promontoire), with its molten forms and liquid shapes. Liquid shapes became the trademark of Dalí, particularly in his The Persistence of Memory
The Persistence of Memory
The Persistence of Memory is a 1931 painting by artist Salvador Dalí, and is one of his most recognizable works. The painting has been in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City since 1934...

, which features the image of watches that sag as if they are melting.

The characteristics of this style—a combination of the depictive, the abstract, and the psychological—came to stand for the alienation which many people felt in the modern
Modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

 period, combined with the sense of reaching more deeply into the psyche, to be "made whole with one's individuality".

Between 1930 and 1933, the Surrealist Group in Paris issued the periodical Le Surrealisme au service de la revolution
Le Surrealisme au service de la revolution
Le Surréalisme au service de la révolution was a periodical issued by the Surrealist Group in Paris between 1930 and 1933...

as the successor of La Révolution surréaliste.

From 1936 through 1938 Wolfgang Paalen
Wolfgang Paalen
Wolfgang Paalen was an Austrian-Mexican painter and theorist.-Early life:Wolfgang Paalen was born in Vienna in 1905, as the first of four sons of the Austrian-Jewish merchant and inventor Gustav Robert Paalen, and his German wife, the actress Clothilde Emilie Gunkel...

, Gordon Onslow Ford
Gordon Onslow Ford
Gordon Onslow Ford was one of the last surviving members of the 1930s Paris surrealist group surrounding André Breton....

, and Roberto Matta
Roberto Matta
Roberto Sebastián Antonio Matta Echaurren , better known as Roberto Matta, was one of Chile's best-known painters and a seminal figure in 20th century abstract expressionist and surrealist art....

 joined the group. Paalen contributed Fumage
Fumage
Fumage is a surrealist painting technique invented by Wolfgang Paalen in which impressions are made by the smoke of a candle or kerosene lamp on a piece of paper or canvas.It was later employed by Salvador Dalí, who called it "sfumato"....

 and Onslow Ford Coulage as new pictorial automatic techniques.

Long after personal, political and professional tensions fragmented the Surrealist group, Magritte and Dalí continued to define a visual program in the arts. This program reached beyond painting, to encompass photography as well, as can be seen from a Man Ray
Man Ray
Man Ray , born Emmanuel Radnitzky, was an American artist who spent most of his career in Paris, France. Perhaps best described simply as a modernist, he was a significant contributor to both the Dada and Surrealist movements, although his ties to each were informal...

 self portrait, whose use of assemblage influenced Robert Rauschenberg
Robert Rauschenberg
Robert Rauschenberg was an American artist who came to prominence in the 1950s transition from Abstract Expressionism to Pop Art. Rauschenberg is well-known for his "Combines" of the 1950s, in which non-traditional materials and objects were employed in innovative combinations...

's collage boxes.
During the 1930s Peggy Guggenheim
Peggy Guggenheim
Marguerite "Peggy" Guggenheim was an American art collector. Born to a wealthy New York City family, she was the daughter of Benjamin Guggenheim, who went down with the Titanic in 1912 and the niece of Solomon R. Guggenheim, who would establish the Solomon R...

, an important American art collector, married Max Ernst
Max Ernst
Max Ernst was a German painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet. A prolific artist, Ernst was one of the primary pioneers of the Dada movement and Surrealism.-Early life:...

 and began promoting work by other Surrealists such as Yves Tanguy
Yves Tanguy
Raymond Georges Yves Tanguy , known as Yves Tanguy, was a French surrealist painter.-Biography:Tanguy was born in Paris, France, the son of a retired navy captain. His parents were both of Breton origin...

 and the British artist John Tunnard
John Tunnard
John Samuel Tunnard was an English Modernist designer and painter. He was the cousin of landscape architect Christopher Tunnard.-Life:...

.

Major exhibitions in the 1930s
  • 1936 - London International Surrealist Exhibition
    London International Surrealist Exhibition
    The International Surrealist Exhibition was held from 11 June to 4 July 1936 at the New Burlington Galleries in London, England.The exhibition was organised by:* Hugh Sykes Davies* David Gascoyne* Humphrey Jennings* Rupert Lee* Diana Brinton Lee...

    is organised in London by the art historian Herbert Read
    Herbert Read
    Sir Herbert Edward Read, DSO, MC was an English anarchist, poet, and critic of literature and art. He was one of the earliest English writers to take notice of existentialism, and was strongly influenced by proto-existentialist thinker Max Stirner....

    , with an introduction by André Breton
    André Breton
    André Breton was a French writer and poet. He is known best as the founder of Surrealism. His writings include the first Surrealist Manifesto of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as "pure psychic automatism"....

    .
  • 1936 - Museum of Modern Art
    Museum of Modern Art
    The Museum of Modern Art is an art museum in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, on 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It has been important in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world...

     in New York shows the exhibition Fantastic Art, Dada and Surrealism.
  • 1938 - A new International Surrealist Exhibition was held at the Beaux-arts Gallery, Paris, with more than 60 artists from different countries, and showed around 300 paintings, objects, collages, photographs and installations. The Surrealists wanted to create an exhibition which in itself would be a creative act and called on Marcel Duchamp
    Marcel Duchamp
    Marcel Duchamp was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Considered by some to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Duchamp's output influenced the development of post-World War I Western art...

     to do so. At the exhibition's entrance he placed Salvador Dalí
    Salvador Dalí
    Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol , commonly known as Salvador Dalí , was a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres,Spain....

    's Rainy Taxi
    Rainy Taxi
    Rainy Taxi, also known as Mannequin Rotting in a Taxi-Cab, is a three dimensional artwork created by Salvador Dalí, consisting of an actual automobile with two mannequin occupants. A male chauffeur is in the front seat, and a female sits in the back seat. A system of pipes causes "rainfall"...

     (an old taxi rigged to produce a steady drizzle of water down the inside of the windows, and a shark-headed creature in the driver's seat and a blond mannequin crawling with live snails in the back) greeted the patrons who were in full evening dress. Surrealist Street filled one side of the lobby with mannequins dressed by various Surrealists. He designed the main hall to seem like subterranean cave with 1,200 coal bags suspended from the ceiling over a coal brazier with a single light bulb which provided the only lighting, so patrons were given flashlights with which to view the art. The floor was carpeted with dead leaves, ferns and grasses and the aroma of roasting coffee filled the air. Much to the Surrealists' satisfaction the exhibition scandalized the viewers.

World War II and the Post War period

World War II created havoc not only for the general population of Europe but especially for the European artists and writers that opposed Fascism, and Nazism. Many important artists fled to North America, and relative safety in the United States. The art community in New York City in particular was already grappling with Surrealist ideas and several artists like Arshile Gorky
Arshile Gorky
Arshile Gorky was an Armenian-born American painter who had a seminal influence on Abstract Expressionism. As such, his works were often speculated to have been informed by the suffering and loss he experienced of the Armenian genocide.-Early life:...

, Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock
Paul Jackson Pollock , known as Jackson Pollock, was an influential American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. During his lifetime, Pollock enjoyed considerable fame and notoriety. He was regarded as a mostly reclusive artist. He had a volatile personality, and...

, Robert Motherwell
Robert Motherwell
Robert Motherwell American painter, printmaker and editor. He was one of the youngest of the New York School , which also included Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning, and Philip Guston....

, and Roberto Matta
Roberto Matta
Roberto Sebastián Antonio Matta Echaurren , better known as Roberto Matta, was one of Chile's best-known painters and a seminal figure in 20th century abstract expressionist and surrealist art....

, converged closely with the surrealist artists themselves, albeit with some suspicion and reservations. Ideas concerning the unconscious and dream imagery were quickly embraced. By the Second World War, the taste of the American avant-garde
Avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

 in New York City swung decisively towards Abstract Expressionism
Abstract expressionism
Abstract expressionism was an American post–World War II art movement. It was the first specifically American movement to achieve worldwide influence and put New York City at the center of the western art world, a role formerly filled by Paris...

 with the support of key taste makers, including Peggy Guggenheim
Peggy Guggenheim
Marguerite "Peggy" Guggenheim was an American art collector. Born to a wealthy New York City family, she was the daughter of Benjamin Guggenheim, who went down with the Titanic in 1912 and the niece of Solomon R. Guggenheim, who would establish the Solomon R...

, Leo Steinberg
Leo Steinberg
Leo Steinberg was an American art critic and art historian and a naturalized citizen of the U.S.-Life:Steinberg was born in Moscow, Russia and grew up in Berlin, Germany. He was the son of Isaac Nachman Steinberg. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art...

 and Clement Greenberg
Clement Greenberg
Clement Greenberg was an American essayist known mainly as an influential visual art critic closely associated with American Modern art of the mid-20th century...

. However, it should not be easily forgotten that Abstract Expressionism itself grew directly out of the meeting of American (particularly New York) artists with European Surrealists self-exiled during World War II. In particular, Arshile Gorky
Arshile Gorky
Arshile Gorky was an Armenian-born American painter who had a seminal influence on Abstract Expressionism. As such, his works were often speculated to have been informed by the suffering and loss he experienced of the Armenian genocide.-Early life:...

 and Wolfgang Paalen
Wolfgang Paalen
Wolfgang Paalen was an Austrian-Mexican painter and theorist.-Early life:Wolfgang Paalen was born in Vienna in 1905, as the first of four sons of the Austrian-Jewish merchant and inventor Gustav Robert Paalen, and his German wife, the actress Clothilde Emilie Gunkel...

 influenced the development of this American art form, which, as Surrealism did, celebrated the instantaneous human act as the well-spring of creativity. The early work of many Abstract Expressionists reveals a tight bond between the more superficial aspects of both movements, and the emergence (at a later date) of aspects of Dadaistic humor in such artists as Rauschenberg sheds an even starker light upon the connection. Up until the emergence of Pop Art
Pop art
Pop art is an art movement that emerged in the mid 1950s in Britain and in the late 1950s in the United States. Pop art challenged tradition by asserting that an artist's use of the mass-produced visual commodities of popular culture is contiguous with the perspective of fine art...

, Surrealism can be seen to have been the single most important influence on the sudden growth in American arts, and even in Pop, some of the humor manifested in Surrealism can be found, often turned to a cultural criticism.

The Second World War overshadowed, for a time, almost all intellectual and artistic production. In 1940 Yves Tanguy
Yves Tanguy
Raymond Georges Yves Tanguy , known as Yves Tanguy, was a French surrealist painter.-Biography:Tanguy was born in Paris, France, the son of a retired navy captain. His parents were both of Breton origin...

 married American Surrealist painter Kay Sage
Kay Sage
Katherine Linn Sage , usually known as Kay Sage, was an American Surrealist artist and poet.-Biography:...

. In 1941, Breton went to the United States, where he co-founded the short-lived magazine VVV with Max Ernst
Max Ernst
Max Ernst was a German painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet. A prolific artist, Ernst was one of the primary pioneers of the Dada movement and Surrealism.-Early life:...

, Marcel Duchamp, and the American artist David Hare
David Hare (artist)
David Hare was an American artist, associated with the Surrealist movement. He is primarily known for his sculpture, though he also worked extensively in photography and painting.-Life and work:...

. However, it was the American poet, Charles Henri Ford
Charles Henri Ford
Charles Henri Ford was an American poet, novelist, filmmaker, photographer, and collage artist best known for his editorship of the Surrealist magazine View in New York City, and as the partner of the artist Pavel Tchelitchew...

, and his magazine View
View (magazine)
View was an American literary and art magazine published from 1940 to 1947 by artist and writer Charles Henri Ford, and writer and film critic Parker Tyler. The magazine is best known for introducing Surrealism to the American public....

which offered Breton a channel for promoting Surrealism in the United States. The View special issue on Duchamp was crucial for the public understanding of Surrealism in America. It stressed his connections to Surrealist methods, offered interpretations of his work by Breton, as well as Breton's view that Duchamp represented the bridge between early modern movements, such as Futurism
Futurism (art)
Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It emphasized and glorified themes associated with contemporary concepts of the future, including speed, technology, youth and violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane and the industrial city...

 and Cubism
Cubism
Cubism was a 20th century avant-garde art movement, pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, that revolutionized European painting and sculpture, and inspired related movements in music, literature and architecture...

, to Surrealism. Wolfgang Paalen
Wolfgang Paalen
Wolfgang Paalen was an Austrian-Mexican painter and theorist.-Early life:Wolfgang Paalen was born in Vienna in 1905, as the first of four sons of the Austrian-Jewish merchant and inventor Gustav Robert Paalen, and his German wife, the actress Clothilde Emilie Gunkel...

 left the group in 1942 due to political/philosophical differences with Breton, founding his journal Dyn
Dyn
Dyn or DYN may refer to:* DYN * Dyne, unit of force* DynDNS...

.

Though the war proved disruptive for Surrealism, the works continued. Many Surrealist artists continued to explore their vocabularies, including Magritte. Many members of the Surrealist movement continued to correspond and meet. While Dalí may have been excommunicated by Breton, he neither abandoned his themes from the 1930s, including references to the "persistence of time" in a later painting, nor did he become a depictive pompier. His classic period did not represent so sharp a break with the past as some descriptions of his work might portray, and some, such as Thirion, argued that there were works of his after this period that continued to have some relevance for the movement.

During the 1940s Surrealism's influence was also felt in England and America. Mark Rothko
Mark Rothko
Mark Rothko, born Marcus Rothkowitz , was a Russian-born American painter. He is classified as an abstract expressionist, although he himself rejected this label, and even resisted classification as an "abstract painter".- Childhood :Mark Rothko was born in Dvinsk, Vitebsk Province, Russian...

 took an interest in biomorphic
Biomorphism
Biomorphism is an art movement that began in the 20th century. It patterns artistic design elements on naturally occurring patterns or shapes reminiscent of nature. Taken to its extreme it attempts to force naturally occurring shapes onto functional devices, often with mixed results.-History:The...

 figures, and in England Henry Moore
Henry Moore
Henry Spencer Moore OM CH FBA was an English sculptor and artist. He was best known for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures which are located around the world as public works of art....

, Lucian Freud
Lucian Freud
Lucian Michael Freud, OM, CH was a British painter. Known chiefly for his thickly impasted portrait and figure paintings, he was widely considered the pre-eminent British artist of his time...

, Francis Bacon and Paul Nash
Paul Nash (artist)
Paul Nash was a British landscape painter, surrealist and war artist, as well as a book-illustrator, writer and designer of applied art. He was the older brother of the artist John Nash.-Early life:...

 used or experimented with Surrealist techniques. However, Conroy Maddox
Conroy Maddox
Conroy Maddox , was an English surrealist painter, collagist, writer and lecturer; and a key figure in the Birmingham Surrealist movement....

, one of the first British Surrealists whose work in this genre dated from 1935, remained within the movement, and organized an exhibition of current Surrealist work in 1978 in response to an earlier show which infuriated him because it did not properly represent Surrealism. Maddox's exhibition, titled Surrealism Unlimited, was held in Paris and attracted international attention. He held his last one-man show in 2002, and died three years later.
Magritte's work became more realistic in its depiction of actual objects, while maintaining the element of juxtaposition, such as in 1951's Personal Values (Les Valeurs Personnelles) and 1954's Empire of Light (L’Empire des lumières). Magritte continued to produce works which have entered artistic vocabulary, such as Castle in the Pyrenees (Le Château des Pyrénées), which refers back to Voix from 1931, in its suspension over a landscape.

Other figures from the Surrealist movement were expelled. Several of these artists, like Roberto Matta
Roberto Matta
Roberto Sebastián Antonio Matta Echaurren , better known as Roberto Matta, was one of Chile's best-known painters and a seminal figure in 20th century abstract expressionist and surrealist art....

 (by his own description) "remained close to Surrealism."

After the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Endre Rozsda
Endre Rozsda
- Life :Rozsda was born in Mohács, south Hungary on 18 November 1913. At the age of 18 he started to paint in the school of Vilmos Aba-Novak. He had his first solo exhibition at the Tamas Gallery in Budapest in 1936, with great success...

 returned to Paris to continue creating his own word that had been transcended the surrealism. The preface to his first exhibition in the Furstenberg Gallery (1957) was written by Breton yet.

Many new artists explicitly took up the Surrealist banner for themselves. Dorothea Tanning
Dorothea Tanning
Dorothea Tanning is an American painter, printmaker, sculptor and writer. She has also designed sets and costumes for ballet and theatre.-Biography:...

 and Louise Bourgeois
Louise Bourgeois
Louise Joséphine Bourgeois , was a renowned French-American artist and sculptor, best known for her contributions to both modern and contemporary art, and for her spider structures, titled Maman, which resulted in her being nicknamed the Spiderwoman...

 continued to work, for example, with Tanning's Rainy Day Canape from 1970. Duchamp continued to produce sculpture in secret including an installation with the realistic depiction of a woman viewable only through a peephole.

Breton continued to write and espouse the importance of liberating of the human mind, as with the publication The Tower of Light in 1952. Breton's return to France after the War, began a new phase of Surrealist activity in Paris, and his critiques of rationalism and dualism found a new audience. Breton insisted that Surrealism was an ongoing revolt against the reduction of humanity to market relationships, religious gestures and misery and to espouse the importance of liberating the human mind.

Major exhibitions of the 1940s, '50s and '60s
  • 1942 - First Papers of Surrealism - New York - The Surrealists again called on Duchamp to design an exhibition. This time he wove a 3-dimensional web of string throughout the rooms of the space, in some cases making it almost impossible to see the works. He made a secret arrangement with an associate's son to bring his friends to the opening of the show, so that when the finely dressed patrons arrived they found a dozen children in athletic clothes kicking and passing balls, and skipping rope. His design for the show's catalog included "found", rather than posed, photographs of the artists.
  • 1947 - International Surrealist Exhibition - Paris
  • 1959 - International Surrealist Exhibition - Paris
  • 1960 - Surrealist Intrusion in the Enchanters' Domain - New York

Post-Breton Surrealism

There is no clear consensus about the end, or if there was an end, to the Surrealist movement. Some art historians suggest that World War II effectively disbanded the movement. However, art historian Sarane Alexandrian
Sarane Alexandrian
Sarane Alexandrian was a French philosopher, essayist, and art critic. He served as the last secretary of surrealist André Breton. Alexandrian was an advocate of the philosophy Nietzsche advanced in The Gay Science...

 (1970) states, "the death of André Breton in 1966 marked the end of Surrealism as an organized movement." There have also been attempts to tie the obituary of the movement to the 1989 death of Salvador Dalí.

In the 1960s, the artists and writers grouped around the Situationist International were closely associated with Surrealism. While Guy Debord
Guy Debord
Guy Ernest Debord was a French Marxist theorist, writer, filmmaker, member of the Letterist International, founder of a Letterist faction, and founding member of the Situationist International . He was also briefly a member of Socialisme ou Barbarie.-Early Life:Guy Debord was born in Paris in 1931...

 was critical of and distanced himself from Surrealism, others, such as Asger Jorn
Asger Jorn
Asger Oluf Jorn was a Danish painter, sculptor, ceramic artist, and author. He was a founding member of the avant-garde movement COBRA and the Situationist International...

, were explicitly using Surrealist techniques and methods. The events of May 1968 in France included a number of Surrealist ideas, and among the slogans the students spray-painted on the walls of the Sorbonne were familiar Surrealist ones. Joan Miró
Joan Miró
Joan Miró i Ferrà was a Spanish Catalan painter, sculptor, and ceramicist born in Barcelona.Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride...

 would commemorate this in a painting titled May 1968. There were also groups who associated with both currents and were more attached to Surrealism, such as the Revolutionary Surrealist Group.

In Europe and all over the world since the 1960s, artists have combined Surrealism with what is believed to be a classical 16th century technique called mischtechnik
Mischtechnik
Mische technique or mixed technique or mixed method is a method of painting where egg tempera is used in combination with oil based paints and resins to create the possibility of rendering a luminous, resonant realism. The egg yolk of the egg tempera is a naturally occurring emulsion of water and...

, a kind of mix of egg tempera and oil paint rediscovered by Ernst Fuchs
Ernst Fuchs (artist)
Ernst Fuchs is an Austrian painter, draftsman, printmaker, sculptor, architect, stage designer, composer, poet, singer and one of the founders of the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism. In 1972 he acquired the derelict Otto Wagner Villa in Hütteldorf, which he restored and transformed...

, a contemporary of Dalí, and now practiced and taught by many followers, including Robert Venosa
Robert Venosa
Robert Venosa was an American artist residing in Boulder, Colorado, USA. He studied with what are termed the New Masters. His artworks reside in collections around the world. -Life and works:...

 and Chris Mars
Chris Mars
Chris Mars is an American artist and musician. He was the drummer for seminal Minneapolis, Minnesota alternative rock band The Replacements and later joined informal supergroup Golden Smog before launching a solo career. He is also a painter, and has more or less left music behind to concentrate...

. The former curator of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a modern art museum located in San Francisco, California. A nonprofit organization, SFMOMA holds an internationally recognized collection of modern and contemporary art and was the first museum on the West Coast devoted solely to 20th century art...

, Michael Bell, has called this style "veristic Surrealism", which depicts with meticulous clarity and great detail a world analogous to the dream world. Other tempera
Tempera
Tempera, also known as egg tempera, is a permanent fast-drying painting medium consisting of colored pigment mixed with a water-soluble binder medium . Tempera also refers to the paintings done in this medium. Tempera paintings are very long lasting, and examples from the 1st centuries AD still exist...

 artists, such as Robert Vickrey
Robert Vickrey
Robert Remsen Vickrey was a Massachusetts-based artist and author who specialized in the ancient medium of egg tempera...

, regularly depict Surreal imagery.

During the 1980s, behind the Iron Curtain
Iron Curtain
The concept of the Iron Curtain symbolized the ideological fighting and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1989...

, Surrealism again entered into politics with an underground artistic opposition movement known as the Orange Alternative
Orange Alternative
Orange Alternative is a name for an underground protest movement which was started in Wrocław, a town in south-west Poland and led by Waldemar Fydrych , commonly known as Major in the 1980s...

. The Orange Alternative was created in 1981 by Waldemar Fydrych (alias 'Major'), a graduate of history and art history at the University of Wrocław. They used Surrealist symbolism and terminology in their large scale happenings organized in the major Polish cities during the Jaruzelski regime, and painted Surrealist graffiti on spots covering up anti-regime slogans. Major himself was the author of a "Manifesto of Socialist Surrealism". In this manifesto, he stated that the socialist (communist) system had become so Surrealistic that it could be seen as an expression of art itself.

Surrealistic art also remains popular with museum patrons. The Guggenheim Museum
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is a well-known museum located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City, United States. It is the permanent home to a renowned collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art and also features special exhibitions...

 in New York City held an exhibit, Two Private Eyes, in 1999, and in 2001 Tate Modern
Tate Modern
Tate Modern is a modern art gallery located in London, England. It is Britain's national gallery of international modern art and forms part of the Tate group . It is the most-visited modern art gallery in the world, with around 4.7 million visitors per year...

 held an exhibition of Surrealist art that attracted over 170,000 visitors. In 2002 the Met in New York City held a show, Desire Unbound, and the Centre Georges Pompidou
Centre Georges Pompidou
Centre Georges Pompidou is a complex in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris, near Les Halles, rue Montorgueil and the Marais...

 in Paris a show called La Révolution surréaliste.

Impact of Surrealism

While Surrealism is typically associated with the arts, it has been said to transcend them; Surrealism has had an impact in many other fields. In this sense, Surrealism does not specifically refer only to self-identified "Surrealists", or those sanctioned by Breton, rather, it refers to a range of creative acts of revolt and efforts to liberate imagination. In addition to Surrealist ideas that are grounded in the ideas of Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher, one of the creators of German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality as a whole revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism.Hegel developed a comprehensive...

, Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 and Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...

, Surrealism is seen by its advocates as being inherently dynamic and as dialectic
Dialectic
Dialectic is a method of argument for resolving disagreement that has been central to Indic and European philosophy since antiquity. The word dialectic originated in Ancient Greece, and was made popular by Plato in the Socratic dialogues...

al in its thought.

Other sources used by Surrealism epigons

Surrealists have also drawn on sources as seemingly diverse as Clark Ashton Smith
Clark Ashton Smith
Clark Ashton Smith was a self-educated American poet, sculptor, painter and author of fantasy, horror and science fiction short stories. He achieved early local recognition, largely through the enthusiasm of George Sterling, for traditional verse in the vein of Swinburne...

, Montague Summers
Montague Summers
Augustus Montague Summers was an eccentric English author and clergyman. He is known primarily for his scholarly work on the English drama of the 17th century, as well as for his idiosyncratic studies on witches, vampires, and werewolves, in all of which he professed to believe...

, Horace Walpole, Fantomas
Fantômas
Fantômas is a fictional character created by French writers Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre .One of the most popular characters in the history of French crime fiction, Fantômas was created in 1911 and appeared in a total of 32 volumes written by the two collaborators, then a subsequent 11...

, The Residents
The Residents
The Residents is an American art collective best known for avant-garde music and multimedia works. The first official release under the name of The Residents was in 1972, and the group has since released over sixty albums, numerous music videos and short films, three CD-ROM projects and ten DVDs....

, Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny
Bugs Bunny is a animated character created in 1938 at Leon Schlesinger Productions, later Warner Bros. Cartoons. Bugs is an anthropomorphic gray rabbit and is famous for his flippant, insouciant personality and his portrayal as a trickster. He has primarily appeared in animated cartoons, most...

, comic strips, the obscure poet Samuel Greenberg
Samuel Greenberg
Samuel Bernard Greenberg was an Austrian-American Jewish poet and artist. Greenberg grew up in poverty on the Lower East Side of New York City and spent the last years of his life in and out of charity hospitals. He died of tuberculosis in the Manhattan State Hospital on Wards Island...

 and the hobo
Hobo
A hobo is a term which is often applied to a migratory worker or homeless vagabond, often penniless. The term originated in the Western—probably Northwestern—United States during the last decade of the 19th century. Unlike 'tramps', who work only when they are forced to, and 'bums', who do not...

 writer and humourist T-Bone Slim
T-Bone Slim
Matti Valentinpoika Huhta , better known by his pen name T-Bone Slim, was a humourist, poet, songwriter, hobo and labor activist in the Industrial Workers of the World....

. One might say that Surrealist strands may be found in movements such as Free Jazz
Free jazz
Free jazz is an approach to jazz music that was first developed in the 1950s and 1960s. Though the music produced by free jazz pioneers varied widely, the common feature was a dissatisfaction with the limitations of bebop, hard bop, and modal jazz, which had developed in the 1940s and 1950s...

 (Don Cherry
Don Cherry (jazz)
Donald Eugene Cherry was an innovative African-American jazz cornetist whose career began with a long association with saxophonist Ornette Coleman. He went on to live in many parts of the world and work with a wide variety of musicians.-Biography:Cherry was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and...

, Sun Ra
Sun Ra
Sun Ra was a prolific jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, poet and philosopher known for his "cosmic philosophy," musical compositions and performances. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama...

, Cecil Taylor
Cecil Taylor
Cecil Percival Taylor is an American pianist and poet. Classically trained, Taylor is generally acknowledged as one of the pioneers of free jazz. His music is characterized by an extremely energetic, physical approach, producing complex improvised sounds, frequently involving tone clusters and...

 etc.) and even in the daily lives of people in confrontation with limiting social conditions. Thought of as the effort of humanity to liberate imagination as an act of insurrection against society, Surrealism finds precedents in the alchemists
Alchemy
Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base...

, possibly Dante
Dante Alighieri
Durante degli Alighieri, mononymously referred to as Dante , was an Italian poet, prose writer, literary theorist, moral philosopher, and political thinker. He is best known for the monumental epic poem La commedia, later named La divina commedia ...

, Hieronymus Bosch, Marquis de Sade, Charles Fourier
Charles Fourier
François Marie Charles Fourier was a French philosopher. An influential thinker, some of Fourier's social and moral views, held to be radical in his lifetime, have become main currents in modern society...

, Comte de Lautreamont
Comte de Lautréamont
Comte de Lautréamont was the pseudonym of Isidore Lucien Ducasse , an Uruguayan-born French poet....

 and Arthur Rimbaud
Arthur Rimbaud
Jean Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud was a French poet. Born in Charleville, Ardennes, he produced his best known works while still in his late teens—Victor Hugo described him at the time as "an infant Shakespeare"—and he gave up creative writing altogether before the age of 21. As part of the decadent...

.

1960s riots

Surrealists believe that non-Western cultures also provide a continued source of inspiration for Surrealist activity because some may strike up a better balance between instrumental reason and imagination in flight than Western culture. Surrealism has had an identifiable impact on radical and revolutionary politics, both directly — as in some Surrealists joining or allying themselves with radical political groups, movements and parties — and indirectly — through the way in which Surrealists' emphasize the intimate link between freeing imagination and the mind, and liberation from repressive and archaic social structures. This was especially visible in the New Left
New Left
The New Left was a term used mainly in the United Kingdom and United States in reference to activists, educators, agitators and others in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to implement a broad range of reforms, in contrast to earlier leftist or Marxist movements that had taken a more vanguardist...

 of the 1960s and 1970s and the French revolt of May 1968, whose slogan "All power to the imagination" rose directly from French Surrealist thought and practice.

Postmodernism and popular culture

Many significant literary movements in the later half of the 20th century were directly or indirectly influenced by Surrealism. This period is known as the Postmodern era; though there's no widely agreed upon central definition of Postmodernism
Postmodernism
Postmodernism is a philosophical movement evolved in reaction to modernism, the tendency in contemporary culture to accept only objective truth and to be inherently suspicious towards a global cultural narrative or meta-narrative. Postmodernist thought is an intentional departure from the...

, many themes and techniques commonly identified as Postmodern are nearly identical to Surrealism.

Many writers from and associated with the Beat Generation
Beat generation
The Beat Generation refers to a group of American post-WWII writers who came to prominence in the 1950s, as well as the cultural phenomena that they both documented and inspired...

 were influenced greatly by Surrealists. Philip Lamantia
Philip Lamantia
Philip Lamantia was an American poet and lecturer. Lamantia's visionary poems were ecstatic, terror-filled, and erotic which explored the subconscious world of dreams and linked it to the experience of daily life.-Biography:...

 and Ted Joans
Ted Joans
Theodore "Ted" Joans was an American trumpeter, jazz poet and painter.Joans was born in Cairo, Illinois, but not on a riverboat as had been claimed. He earned a degree in fine arts from Indiana University. He later associated with writers of the Beat Generation in Greenwich Village and San Francisco...

 are often categorized as both Beat and Surrealist writers. Many other Beat writers show significant evidence of Surrealist influence. A few examples include Bob Kaufman
Bob Kaufman
Bob Kaufman , born Robert Garnell Kaufman, was an American Beat poet and surrealist inspired by jazz music. In France, where his poetry had a large following, he was known as the "American Rimbaud."-Biography:...

, Gregory Corso
Gregory Corso
Gregory Nunzio Corso was an American poet, youngest of the inner circle of Beat Generation writers...

, Allen Ginsberg
Allen Ginsberg
Irwin Allen Ginsberg was an American poet and one of the leading figures of the Beat Generation in the 1950s. He vigorously opposed militarism, materialism and sexual repression...

, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Lawrence Ferlinghetti is an American poet, painter, liberal activist, and the co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers...

. Artaud in particular was very influential to many of the Beats, but especially Ginsberg and Carl Solomon
Carl Solomon
Carl Solomon was an American writer.-Biography:Solomon was born in the Bronx of New York City. His father's death in 1939 had a profoundly negative effect on his early life...

. Ginsberg cites Artaud's "Van Gogh -- The Man Suicided by Society" as a direct influence on "Howl
Howl
"Howl" is a poem written by Allen Ginsberg in 1955 and published as part of his 1956 collection of poetry titled Howl and Other Poems. The poem is considered to be one of the great works of the Beat Generation, along with Jack Kerouac's On the Road and William S. Burroughs's Naked Lunch...

", along with Apollinaire's "Zone", Garcia Lorca's "Ode to Walt Whitman", and Schwitters' "Priimiititiii". The structure of Breton's "Free Union" had a significant influence on Ginsberg's "Kaddish". In Paris, Ginsberg and Corso met their heroes Tristan Tzara, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and Benjamin Peret, and to show their admiration Ginsberg kissed Duchamp's feet and Corso cut off Duchamp's tie.

William S. Burroughs, a core member of the Beat Generation and a very influential postmodern novelist, developed what he called the "cut-up technique" with former surrealist Brion Gysin
Brion Gysin
Brion Gysin was a painter, writer, sound poet, and performance artist born in Taplow, Buckinghamshire.He is best known for his discovery of the cut-up technique, used by his friend, the novelist William S. Burroughs...

 -- in which chance is used to dictate the composition of a text from words cut out of other sources—referring to it as the "Surrealist Lark" and recognizing its debt to the techniques of Tristan Tzara.

Postmodern novelist Thomas Pynchon
Thomas Pynchon
Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. is an American novelist. For his most praised novel, Gravity's Rainbow, Pynchon received the National Book Award, and is regularly cited as a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature...

, who was also influenced by Beat fiction, experimented since the 1960s with the surrealist idea of startling juxtapositions; commenting on the "necessity of managing this procedure with some degree of care and skill", he added that "any old combination of details will not do. Spike Jones, Jr., whose father's orchestral recordings had a deep and indelible effect on me as a child, said once in an interview, 'One of the things that people don't realize about Dad's kind of music is, when you replace a C-sharp with a gunshot, it has to be a C-sharp gunshot or it sounds awful.'"

Many other postmodern fiction writers have been directly influenced by Surrealism. Paul Auster
Paul Auster
Paul Benjamin Auster is an American author known for works blending absurdism, existentialism, crime fiction and the search for identity and personal meaning in works such as The New York Trilogy , Moon Palace , The Music of Chance , The Book of Illusions and The Brooklyn Follies...

, for example, has translated Surrealist poetry and said the Surrealists were "a real discovery" for him. Salman Rushdie, when called a Magical Realist, said he saw his work instead "allied to surrealism". For the work of other postmodernists, such as Donald Barthelme
Donald Barthelme
Donald Barthelme was an American author known for his playful, postmodernist style of short fiction. Barthelme also worked as a newspaper reporter for the Houston Post, managing editor of Location magazine, director of the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston , co-founder of Fiction Donald...

 and Robert Coover
Robert Coover
Robert Lowell Coover is an American author and professor in the Literary Arts program at Brown University. He is generally considered a writer of fabulation and metafiction.-Life and works:...

, a broad comparison to Surrealism is common.

Magic realism
Magic realism
Magic realism or magical realism is an aesthetic style or genre of fiction in which magical elements blend with the real world. The story explains these magical elements as real occurrences, presented in a straightforward manner that places the "real" and the "fantastic" in the same stream of...

, a popular technique among novelists of the latter half of the 20th century especially among Latin American writers, has some obvious similarities to Surrealism with its juxtaposition of the normal and the dream-like, as in the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Gabriel García Márquez
Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez is a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo throughout Latin America. He is considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in...

. Carlos Fuentes
Carlos Fuentes
Carlos Fuentes Macías is a Mexican writer and one of the best-known living novelists and essayists in the Spanish-speaking world. He has influenced contemporary Latin American literature, and his works have been widely translated into English and other languages.-Biography:Fuentes was born in...

 was inspired by the revolutionary voice in Surrealist poetry and points to inspiration Breton and Artaud found in Fuentes' homeland, Mexico. Though Surrealism was a direct influence on Magic Realism in its early stages, many Magic Realist writers and critics, such as Amaryll Chanady and S. P. Ganguly, while acknowledging the similarities, cite the many differences obscured by the direct comparison of Magic Realism and Surrealism such as an interest in psychology and the artefacts of European culture they claim is not present in Magic Realism. A prominent example of a Magic Realist writer who points to Surrealism as an early influence is Alejo Carpentier
Alejo Carpentier
Alejo Carpentier y Valmont was a Cuban novelist, essayist, and musicologist who greatly influenced Latin American literature during its famous "boom" period. Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Carpentier grew up in Havana, Cuba; and despite his European birthplace, Carpentier strongly self-identified...

 who also later criticized Surrealism's dilineation between real and unreal as not representing the true South American experience.

Surrealist groups

See also :Category:Surrealist groups.


Surrealist individuals and groups have attempted to carry on with Surrealism after the death of André Breton in 1966. The original Paris Surrealist Group was disbanded by member Jean Schuster in 1969.

Surrealism and the theatre

Surrealist theatre and Artaud's "Theatre of Cruelty" were inspirational to many within the group of playwrights that the critic Martin Esslin called the "Theatre of the Absurd
Theatre of the Absurd
The Theatre of the Absurd is a designation for particular plays of absurdist fiction, written by a number of primarily European playwrights in the late 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, as well as to the style of theatre which has evolved from their work...

" (in his 1963 book of the same name). Though not an organized movement, Esslin grouped these playwrights together based on some similarities of theme and technique; Esslin argues that these similarities may be traced to an influence from the Surrealists. Eugène Ionesco
Eugène Ionesco
Eugène Ionesco was a Romanian and French playwright and dramatist, and one of the foremost playwrights of the Theatre of the Absurd...

 in particular was fond of Surrealism, claiming at one point that Breton was one of the most important thinkers in history. Samuel Beckett
Samuel Beckett
Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet. He wrote both in English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.Beckett is widely regarded as among the most...

 was also fond of Surrealists, even translating much of the poetry into English. Other notable playwrights whom Esslin groups under the term, for example Arthur Adamov
Arthur Adamov
Arthur Adamov was a playwright, one of the foremost exponents of the Theatre of the Absurd.Adamov was born in Kislovodsk in Russia to a wealthy Armenian family, which lost its wealth in 1917...

 and Fernando Arrabal
Fernando Arrabal
Fernando Arrabal Terán is a Spanish playwright, screenwriter, film director, novelist and poet. He settled in France in 1955, he describes himself as “desterrado,” or “half-expatriate, half-exiled.”...

, were at some point members of the Surrealist group.

Surrealism and film

See also, List of surrealist films.


Feminist

Feminists have in the past critiqued the Surrealist movement, claiming that it is fundamentally a male movement and a male fellowship, despite the celebrated women surrealists such as Leonora Carrington
Leonora Carrington
Leonora Carrington OBE was a British-born Mexican artist, a surrealist painter and a novelist. She lived most of her life in Mexico City.-Early life:...

 (1917-2011), Leonor Fini
Leonor Fini
Leonor Fini was an Argentine surrealist painter.-Life and work:Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she was raised in Trieste, Italy. She moved to Milan at the age of 17, and then to Paris, in either 1931 or 1932...

, Kay Sage
Kay Sage
Katherine Linn Sage , usually known as Kay Sage, was an American Surrealist artist and poet.-Biography:...

, Dorothea Tanning
Dorothea Tanning
Dorothea Tanning is an American painter, printmaker, sculptor and writer. She has also designed sets and costumes for ballet and theatre.-Biography:...

, Remedios Varo
Remedios Varo
Remedios Varo Uranga was a Spanish-Mexican, para-surrealist painter and anarchist. She was born María de los Remedios Varo Uranga in Anglès, Girona, Spain in 1908. During the Spanish Civil War she fled to Paris where she was greatly influenced by the surrealist movement...

 and Toyen
Toyen
Marie Čermínová , known as Toyen, was a Czech painter, draftsperson and illustrator and a member of the surrealist movement.-Biography:...

. Feminist critics believe that it adopts archaic attitudes toward women, such as worshiping them symbolically through stereotypes and sexist norms. Women are often made to represent higher values and transformed into objects of desire and of mystery.

One of the pioneers in feminist critique of Surrealism was Xavière Gauthier. Her book Surréalisme et sexualité (1971) inspired further important scholarship related to the marginalization of women in relation to "the avant-garde
Avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

." This perspective was anticipated and critiqued as misunderstanding surrealism's point in being a social critique and a reflection the individual's presuppositions so that they may be critically questioned.

Freudian

Freud initiated the psychoanalytic critique of Surrealism with his remark that what interested him most about the Surrealists was not their unconscious but their conscious. His meaning was that the manifestations of and experiments with psychic automatism highlighted by Surrealists as the liberation of the unconscious were highly structured by ego activity, similar to the activities of the dream censorship in dreams, and that therefore it was in principle a mistake to regard Surrealist poems and other art works as direct manifestations of the unconscious, when they were indeed highly shaped and processed by the ego. In this view, the Surrealists may have been producing great works, but they were products of the conscious, not the unconscious mind, and they deceived themselves with regard to what they were doing with the unconscious. In psychoanalysis proper, the unconscious does not just express itself automatically but can only be uncovered through the analysis of resistance and transference in the psychoanalytic process.

André Breton writings


Overview websites


Surrealist poetry

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