Surreal Art History 203 Slides
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This is a complete powerpoint presentation of Surreal Art from its inception in the early part of the 20th Century forward. The presentation shows art work from the major artists identified with the movement, even if they were sometimes also classed with other movements. The bodies of work covered here are of:
~Giorgio de Chirico
EXCERPT (bullet points overview surrealism)
-- cultural movement that began in the early 1920s
-- artists juxtaposed the dream state with the fully conscious one, melding the new Freudian principles to the visual arts.
-- pictorial scenes defied logic and reason since they resembled the less than conscious mind states.
-- strange creatures emerged; everyday objects became sinister
-- unexpected juxtapositions of objects and beings emerged in many of the works.
-- its springboard was the Dada movement during World War I.
-- Surrealism was centered in Paris.
-- had widespread effect upon not only the visual arts, but also literature, film, music, political theory, and philosophy.
-- is still with us today in the arts since altered states of being, as opposed to everyday, walking around reality, continues to fascinate those in every aspect of the arts.
EXCERPT (some Dali annotations to slides)
-- Dali began "Invisible Figures" in 1926 showing scenery in front of his home, in Llaner in Cadaqués. He resumed painting it in 1936. He eliminated a bather and rocky shore in the lower half by painting a stage over them. The stage shows his absence from his bed and chair and leaves his heart on a pedestal.This process of redoing the painting years later is not uncommon among painters.
-- "Apparatus and Hand" in 1927 was the first painting in which Dali began applying Freud’s ideas about dream analysis. He used dream like symbols from this point forward.
-- Dali's periodic hallucinations and paranoid visions show up in the 1929 painting, "Accommodations of Desire." He juxtaposed outrageous objects with a meticulous, clinical rendering.
-- "Enigma of William Tell" in 1933 picks up the Tell story. It is a legend about a man, who shot an apple placed on the head of his son. The Tell in the painting is much later on in his life. Thus, the intertwining of the past with the present, a universal, occurs. Dali is focused on the theme of time again and again.
-- Dali explores Freud’s Death Instinct in "Sleep" in 1937. That principle states that all animals, including humans, try to prolong their life by defending against all threats of death. They defend by either aggressive or self-destructive acts. This entity, and the dog to the left, are ravished by heeding that instinct; hence the crutches and catatonia.
EXCERPT (some Magritte annotations to slides)
-- Magritte stripped an object to convey an irrational image. Thus, in 1928's "Voice of the Winds," the bells float in the air. He distorted scale, weight, and use of an ordinary object. He used bells a lot in his work and wrote this about the jingle bell: “I caused the iron bells hanging from the necks of our admirable horses to sprout like dangerous plants at the edge of an abyss.”
-- "Future Statues" in 1932 was made from a commercial plaster reproduction of the death mask of the French Emperor Napoleon. Magritte painted at least five of these casts, each with sky and clouds. Magritte did not comment but his friend and Surrealist poet Paul Nougé suggested Magritte was after an association between death, dreams and the depth of the sky. He said, ”a patch of sky traversed by clouds and dreams can transfigure the very face of death in a totally unexpected way”.
-- In a letter to Paul Nouge of January 1948, Magritte wrote about his "Black Magic" painting of 1933: ”I am searching for a title for the picture of the nude woman (naked torso) in the room with the rock. One idea is that the stone is linked by some Affinity to the earth. The stone can't raise itself; we can rely on its generic fidelity to terrestrial attraction. The woman, too, if you like. From another point of view, the hard existence of the stone, well-defined, 'a hard feeling,' and the mental and physical system of a human being are not unconnected".