Movements In Art – Surrealism

SURREALISM – An art method that produces dream like paintings, strange creatures from groups of everyday objects and created ways that the unconscious could express itself.  Famous Surrealists include Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte and Joan Miro.

Salvador Dali’s piece, The Persistence Of Memory, is quite a calm image, the melted clock faces and the part face on the floor create the dream like quality of Surrealist work.  The work is not created to make sense of the world around it but to converse a state of sleep to the audience.  In sleep time melts away and doesn’t make sense, the dreamer can be asleep for 10 minutes and it can feel like days or be asleep for 10 hours and awake feeling like it was only minutes that has passed.  In The Persistence Of Memory I feel that it is this thought that Dali is addressing.

The work I have chosen to illustrate Rene Magritte with is called The Human Condition.  It is a painting of a landscape on canvas in front of a larger painting of the same landscape that is presented to look like the view from a window.  From the viewpoint that the artist has chosen to show the audience the painting blends with its background and only the legs, top part of the easel and side of the canvas are seen to show that there is in fact something between the viewer and the window.  This creates confusion within the viewer through distortion of the image.  It addresses the spatial awareness between the viewers perceived surroundings and the actual surroundings.

In complete contrast is Joan Miro’s work, Summer.  This painting has a child like quality about it, the shapes used to represent the figures and the colours used re-enforce this.  When first viewing this piece it seems to be just a bright, bold take on the title but upon closer inspection there is an underlying sense of unease.  The faces are depicted with down-turned mouths, possibly a sign of sadness, but more probable anger.  Then noticeable are the shapes used, the body of the larger person seems to be another face, shown in a nightmarish way.  The audience, after viewing this painting is left unsettled.

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