18 Facts About Surrealism


Surrealism is a cultural movement that developed in Europe in the aftermath of World War I in which artists depicted unnerving, illogical scenes and developed techniques to allow the unconscious mind to express itself.

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Surrealism admired the young writer's anti-social attitude and disdain for established artistic tradition.

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Surrealism included citations of the influences on Surrealism, examples of Surrealist works, and discussion of Surrealist automatism.

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Surrealism is based on the belief in the superior reality of certain forms of previously neglected associations, in the omnipotence of dream, in the disinterested play of thought.

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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 such as automatic drawing.

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Breton published Surrealism and Painting in 1928 which summarized the movement to that point, though he continued to update the work until the 1960s.

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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.

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Germaine Tailleferre of the French group Les Six wrote several works which could be considered to be inspired by Surrealism, including the 1948 ballet Paris-Magie, the operas La Petite Sirene (book by Philippe Soupault) and Le Maitre (book by Eugene Ionesco).

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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, but actually co-authored by Breton and Leon Trotsky.

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Surrealism 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.

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Surrealism refused to take sides on the splits in the French anarchist movement and both he and Peret expressed solidarity as well with the new Federation anarchiste set up by the synthesist anarchists and worked in the Antifascist Committees of the 60s alongside the FA.

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In particular, Gorky and Paalen influenced the development of this American art form, which, as Surrealism did, celebrated the instantaneous human act as the well-spring of creativity.

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Up until the emergence of Pop 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.

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Maddox's exhibition, titled Surrealism Unlimited, was held in Paris and attracted international attention.

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Surrealism held his last one-man show in 2002, and died three years later.

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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.

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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.

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Eugene Ionesco in particular was fond of Surrealism, claiming at one point that Breton was one of the most important thinkers in history.

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