Surrealism Essay Example

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In Dreams: Surrealism and The Human Condition

Surrealism Essay: Introduction

At the beginning of the 20th century, art movements were changing, and the First World War's impacts changed the artists' perspectives about the world because during the war, many of them were forced to fight for their country, and they witnessed many deaths. They became more depressed and searched for ways to express their emotions through art. Surrealism was mainly influenced by Freud's investigations of human consciousness and mind. Today, we consider Freud as the founder of modern psychology, and back in the 20s, his findings were critical for the surrealist artists because they aimed to explore the unconsciousness of the human mind and dreams. This paper focuses on Surrealism's artistic agenda and the meaning of Surrealistic artworks. After all, along with Salvador Dali, many surrealist artists embraced different methods for paintings and sculptures, and they used automatism which aimed to produce an artwork without planning. Also, they used juxtaposition, which was combing two irrelative objects together and corrupting the object's functionality. In paintings, they used strange symbols and figures to reveal time, dreams, and the unconscious human mind. Therefore, their artworks include bizarre figures, irrational arrangements, and nonsensical ideas and images.

Body Paragraphs

First of all, in the 1920s, Andre Breton played a critical role in spreading Surrealism to the different regions. It was Andre who defined Surrealism as an art movement in his 1924 Surrealist Manifesto (“The History of,” 2021). Andre and a group of surrealist artists, including Marx Ernst, experimented with dangerous things on themselves to see hallucinations and reach the pure state of mind (“History Editors,” 2017). Surrealist artists wanted to reflect the unconscious mind with symbols that they saw on everyday occasions. Meanwhile, the automatism method led them to create artworks without any moral concerns. Surrealist artworks were complex and lack of logic and sarcastic in some ways.

Among other surrealist artists, Salvador Dali was more interested in Freud's investigations about dreams and the unconscious mind. Thus, time, dreams, and unconsciousness were critical concepts for his artworks. For instance, in The Persistence of Memory painting, we can see that there are three clocks that are melting on different surfaces. There is a pocket watch that is full of ants, and it represents death. In another example, Dali’s The Anthropomorphic Cabinet reveals Freud’s impacts because he describes the unconscious mind, which is similar to drawers that should be opened one by one (“Salvador Dali,” 2021). Thus, in the painting, we can see that the woman’s body is painted as drawers, and the bottom drawer is closed, which represents the unconscious mind.

As mentioned earlier, surrealist artists did not aim to give moral lessons or criticize society. They sought to reflect dreams, unconscious mind. Also, they were sarcastic in their artworks. For instance, in Rene Magritte’s The Treachery of Images, we can see that there is a pipe, and underneath it says Ceci n’est pas une pipe (this is not a pipe) because it is a photography of a pipe. We can find many sarcastic examples in surrealist artworks because artists tried to reflect their reality more complexly and subjectively.

Surrealism Essay: Conclusion

Consequently, this paper focuses on surrealist artists' agenda and the meaning of surrealist artworks. In the 20th century, the world witnessed two world wars, and their impacts affected artists negatively because they saw too many deaths. Surrealist artists used different methods such as automatism and juxtaposition. They were influenced by Freud's books about dreams and the human mind. In their artworks, they used strange symbols and figures to reveal time, dreams, and the unconscious human mind. After all, their artworks include bizarre figures, irrational arrangements, and nonsensical ideas and images.

References

History.com Editors. (2017, September 13). Surrealism History. History.com. https://history.com/topics/art-history/surrealism-history.

The History of Graphic Design – IAART105 Graphic Design Process 02. (2021, April 28). Art Movement: Surrealism and Surrealist Artists. Artland Magazine. https://magazine.artland.com/art-movement-surrealism/.

YouTube. (2021). Salvador Dali: Surrealism's Most Eccentric Man (Art Documentary) | Perspective. YouTube. https://youtube.com/

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