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Dada and Surrealism


Dada and Surrealism Surrealism was an artists movement inspired by the Dada movement. Meret Oppenheim Oppenheim's best known piece is Object (Le Dejeuner en fourrure ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Dada and Surrealism

Dada and Surrealism
  • Surrealism was an artists movement inspired by
    the Dada movement.
  • Meret Oppenheim
  • Oppenheim's best known piece is Object (Le
    Dejeuner en fourrure) (1936). The sculpture
    consists of a teacup, saucer and spoon that the
    artist covered with fur from a Chinese gazelle.
    It is displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in
    New York.
  • This became the symbol of Surrealism.
  • Her originality and audacity established her as a
    leading figure in the surrealist movement.

  • The movement known as Dada was born in Zurich,
    Switzerland and was primarily created as a
    backlash to the traditional views of culture,
    art, and literature.
  • The first group of Dadaists sought to eliminate
    all forms of reason and logic due to the
    atrocities caused by World War I. 
  • Art created during the Dada movement was to be
    interpreted freely by the viewer and was not
    based on the formal standards shown by earlier
    traditional artists.
  • The Dada movement was spread throughout Zurich,
    Berlin, New York, Paris, and the Netherlands and
    varied by form such as poetry, art, literature,
    and music.

  • The complex nature of the Dada movement began as
    a negative response to society and, in turn,
    radically altered twentieth-century art. 
  • The movement criticized conventional ideas of the
    use of mediums by utilizing prefabricated
    supplies, altering them slightly in order to
    obtain a different view of the piece. READY-MADE
  • Marcel Duchamps readymade, Fountain, a porcelain
    urinal in which the artist wrote R. Mutt on and
    submitted it to the Society of Independent 
    Artists Exhibit in 1917.
  • The purpose of the Dada movement was viewed
    negatively and was not intended to be creative
    it is intended to cast discredit on creative
    activity(Frey 12).
  • He proclaimed, the creative act could be reduced
    to the choice of the mind rather than the act of
    the hand. In other words, the viewer is involved
    in the creative act of interpretation a long with
    the artist.

Marcel Duchamp Fountain, 1916-17
Jean Arp
  • Collage was another technique used by artists
    Hannah Hoch, Kurt Schwitters, and Jean Arp during
    the Dada movement.
  • Jean Arps Collage Arranged According to the
    Laws of Chance, completed in 1916, displays a
    random pattern of squares depicting the notion of
    escaping the rational world.
  • Arps collages differ greatly from the academic
    realm of art because of the way in which he
    created them. He did not use a formula he just
    drop his collage pieces and let them fall into
    place by chance. He declared that these works,
    like nature, were ordered according to the laws
    of chance.

Jean Arps Collage Arranged According to the Laws
of Chance, completed in 1916
  • Surrealism, in turn, was a positive movement
    which at first was solely focused around
    automatic writing, expressing the thought and
    subconscious of the artist.
  • Surrealism was founded by Andre Breton in the
    1920s and stretched the human imagination
    revealing through artistic imagery a world of
    fantasy and dreams, not reality.
  • Both Dada and Surrealism share the same purpose
    to explore avant-garde methods of creativity
    while rejecting the traditional standards of art.

  • The art of the Surrealist movement was centered
    around the irrational and the subconscious, both
    depicting dream-like images.
  • When the Surrealist movement began in 1919 the
    main aspect of creativity was applied through
    automatic writing, which allowed irrational
    thoughts to be written through lack of reason and
  • The way in which art was later depicted changed
    when artists began to document dreams through
    imagery in paintings.
  • The Surrealist approach to art depicts the
    artists inner thoughts and subconscious,
    digressing from the negatively charged Dada
  • Art critics have described surrealism as a
    search for the bizarre and marvelous(Matthews
    139) because of the whimsical and dream-like
    images found in paintings of this movement.

Overview 2 Forms of Surrealism
  • 1.) Improvised Art - without conscious control.
  • Artist Examples
  • Joan Miro The Joy of Painting
  • Max Ernst Mother of Madness
  • 2.) Realistic Techniques with dream-like scenes
  • Artist Examples
  • Salvador Dali Painting Paranoia
  • Renee Magritte Dream Visions
  • Giorgio de Chirico Metaphysical Painter
  • Frida Kahlo Wore her heart on her canvas.

Joan Miro The Joy of Painting
  • Miro use the automatic style of painting.
  • Painted squiggles in a tranclike state working
    spontaneously. What really counts is to strip
    the soul naked. Prudence thrown to the wind,
    nothing held back.
  • Invented unique biomorphic signs for natural
    objects (sun, moon, and animals) simplified into
    shorthand pictograms of geometric shapes and
    amoeba-like blobs a mixture of fact and

Biography Gallery
Joan Miro
Dutch Interior II
Cosmic Ladder
Joan Miro
  • Joan Miro's painting Carnival of Harlequin,
    completed in 1924, displays a scene of brightly
    colored organic forms and shapes in a humorous
  • The creatures or figures in Miro's paintings
    appear almost as if they are cartoons, taking up
    the entire canvas so that the viewer doesn't
    focus on merely one aspect of the scene.
  • Some of the shapes appear to be floating in the
    top corners of the canvas while others, such as
    the one on the left side, use ladders to climb up
    through the work. The figures in Miro's Carnival
    of Harlequin are "lively, remarkably vivid, and
    even the his inanimate objects have an eager
    vitality"(Arnason 295).

Carnival of Harlequin, completed in 1924
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Max Ernst Mother of Madness
  • Experienced hallucinations as a child with a
    fever from measles. He found he could induce
    similar near-psychotic episodes (and adapt them
    in art) by staring fixedly until his mind
    wandered into some psychic netherworld.
  • Ernst had been a member of the Dadaists before
    joining the Surrealist Group. Many of his early
    works deliberately played with chance.

Biography Gallery
Max Ernst collage, frottage and grattage
  • One of the methods he used to stimulate his
    imagination was collage. He would bring together
    illustrations and photographs from widely
    different sources and stick them together to
    create strange new relationships. (see Celebes)
  • Invented fonttage a new method for generating
    surprising imagery. This is rubbings from
    textured surfaces and embellished to produce
    fantastic, sometimes monstrous imagery.
  • Grattage scrapping into thick paint

Max Ernst Early works
  • Max Ernsts painting Celebes, which was completed
    in 1919, depicts an ambiguous creature that
    somewhat resembles an elephant. This painting is
    an example of the whimsical and bizarre imagery
    used during the Dada and Surrealism Movement.
  • In the bottom right corner of the painting, a
    headless body is beckoning the creature towards
    its direction, making the image disturbing as
    well as humorous. The main focus of Celebes is a
    fantastical creature whose body resembles a

Max Ernst, Celebes, 1921
Salvador Dali Spanish, 1904 - 1989
  • Based his technique on critical paranoia and
    explored his own neuroses.
  • He was terrified of insects, of crossing streets,
    of trains, boats and airplanes, of taking the
    Metro even of buying shoes because he couldnt
    bear to expose his feet in public.
  • He laughed hysterically and uncontrollably and
    carried a piece of driftwood at all times to ward
    off evil spirits.

Salvador Dali Painting Paranoia
  • With so rich a lode of irrational fears fueling
    his art, Dali placed a canvas at his bed and
    recorded what he called hand-painted dream
    photographs when he awoke.
  • Instead of inventing new forms to symbolize the
    unconscious, he represented his hallucinations
    with meticulous realism.
  • His recurrent nightmare of a rotting corps often
    appeared in his work.

Salvador Dali
  • Mountain Lake, 1938
  • Dali is fascinated by the idea of multiple
    images the way the same image can take on quite
    different meanings. In this painting the lake,
    with the strange splash at one end, can also be
    read as a fish on a table. In real life our own
    experiences constantly invest objects with
    double meanings such as a bunch of flowers
    meaning I love you, or Im sorry.
  • Dali tells us that his parents visited this lake
    after the death of their first child, who was
    also named Salvador. Dali was haunted by this
    dead brother he never knew. The telephone might
    be a symbol of trying to contact someone on the
    other side, someone who is absent.
  • Dali painted this work in 1938 on the eve of
    World War Two. He has suggested the telephone
    relates to the negotiations in September 1938,
    between Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime
    Minster, and Adolph Hitler.
  • In both the personal context of his dead brother
    and the international political situation, the
    telephone speaks of a lack of connection and of
    ultimate death. The fish floundering on the table
    ready to be cooked might represent the countries
    Hitler was about to march into and conquer.

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The Persistence of Memory
  • The Persistence of Memory, shows limp watches and
    a strange lump of indefinable flesh. Although
    metallic, the watches appear to be decomposing. A
    fly and cluster of jewel-like ants swarm over
  • Breton said, With the coming of Dali, it is
    perhaps the first time that the mental windows
    have been opened really wide so that one can feel
    oneself gliding up toward the wild skys trap.
  • Can you find the self portrait in this painting?

The Persistence of Memory
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Dalis self portraits (early works)
  • Self Portrait with neck of Raphael, 1921
  • In both of these self portraits we see a sense of

Self Portrait with Fried Bacon, 1941
  • Dali painted this self-portrait during his
    eight-year-exile in the United States, where he
    had fled from the Spanish civil war.
  • The, sometimes, childlike enthusiasm and the
    drive of the American society appealed to Dali
    and he had a most productive period there.
  • Dali himself styles his self-portrait as "an
    anti-psychological self-portrait, instead of
    painting the soul, or the inner of oneself, to
    paint solely the appearance, the cover, my soul's
    glove. This glove of my soul can be eaten and is
    even a little sharp, like highbred game therefor
    ants appear together with the fried bacon. As the
    most generous of all painters I continuously
    offer myself as food and thus give our era the
    most delicious delicacies

Portrait of Frau Isabel Styler-Tas (Melencolia).
1945. Oil on canvas. 65.5 x 86 cm. Staatliche
Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz Neue
Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany.
Fifty Abstract Paintings Which as Seen from Two
Yards Change into Three Lenins Masquerading as
Chinese and as Seen from Six Yards Appear as the
Head of a Royal Bengal Tiger. 1963. Oil on
canvas. 200 x 229
The Surrealists wanted to create strange images
in order to startle viewers into new ways of
thinking about the world. They saw beauty in the
most bizarre, unexpected combinations of things
such as a lobster and a telephone.
Salvador DALÍ Lobster telephone
Rene Magritte Pronounced Mah GREET
  • Gallery Biography

Renee Magritte Dream Visions
  • (1898-1967) Dream Visions
  • Painted disturbing, illogical images with
    startling clarity.
  • Began as a commercial artist he used this
    mastery of realism to defy logic.
  • He placed everyday objects in incongruous
    settings and transformed them into electric
    shocks. Juxtaposed familiar sights in unnatural

The False Mirror
  • Rene Magritte specialized in paintings of
    strange, imaginary scenes, often involving men in
    bowler hats. This one has hundreds of them
    hovering in the air above an ordinarylooking

Gonconda. 1953. Oil on canvas. 81 x 100 cm. The
Menil Collection, Houston, TX, USA.
Magrittes self portrait
  • The painting of a man in a gray overcoat and
    derby hat whose face is almost entirely hidden by
    a big green apple is one of the best-known works
    of Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte, 1898-1967.
  • It is also the closest he was willing to come to
    answer a request for a self portrait. That tells
    us how little this marvelous artist cared for
    publicity and self-promotion, even though he was
    delighted to sell his work widely.
  • If this painting looks familiar to us, it is
    because Magrittes work has so strongly
    influenced not only other artists but also a
    great many people who did want to do publicity
    and promotion, advertising, design and films,
    during much of the last century.

  • Despite the strangeness of the scene, Magritte
    painted it in a very lifelike way.
  • It is only the combination of things that makes
    it look absurd.
  • Magritte loved painting ordinary things in
    ordinary situations. He said he wanted to play
    with the viewers expectations in order to
    challenge the real world.

La Durée poignardée. 1938. Oil on canvas. 146 x
97 cm. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL,
René Magritte. The Red Model. 1934. Oil on
canvas. 183 x 136 cm. Museum Boymans-van
Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Giorgio De Chirico Pronounced - KEY ree coh
  • Italian, 1888 1978
  • Hailed by the Surrealists as their precursor,
    Italian painter, was painting nightmare fantasies
    fifteen years before Surrealism existed.

Giorgio De Chirico Metaphysical Painter
  • Drawing on irrational childhood fears, De Chirico
    is known for his eerie cityscapes with empty
    arcades, raking light, and ominous shadows.
  • The skewed perspective and nearly deserted
    squares inhabited by tiny, depersonalized figures
    project menace.
  • In fact, with these paintings as his best
    evidence, De Chirico was exempted from military
    service as mentally unstable.
  • On an early self-portrait he inscribed, What
    shall I love if not the enigma?

The Mystery and Melancholy of a Street
  • Immediately prior to World War I, the
    Greco-Italian painter, Giorgio de Chirico created
    enigmatic paintings in which he used a
    traditional style to describe not the external
    world, but haunting dreamscapes infused with
    illogical images, bizarre spatial constructions,
    and a pervasive melancholic mood.
  • He was greatly inspired by the writings of
    Friedrich Nietzsche, who believed hidden
    realities were seen in such strange
    juxtapositions as the long shadows cast by the
    setting sun into large open city squares and onto
    public monuments.
  • De Chirico called his art "metaphysical," and
    with it hoped to destabilize the meaning of
    everyday objects by making them symbols of fear,
    alienation, and uncertainty. His paintings were
    highly influential for the Surrealists a decade
    later in their effort to create art from the
  • Andromache refers to the beautiful and loyal wife
    of Hector, the Trojan warrior slain by Achilles
    in the Iliad. Here Andromache stands, reduced to
    simple ovoids, alone in a quiet, almost airless
    Italian piazza, her mood reflected in the dark
    shadows stretching across the square. The
    buildings, equally simplified, frame the image,
    lending it an almost stage-like quality.

Andromache, 1916 Oil on panel. 8 x 5 3/4 in.
(20.3 x 14.6 cm) Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Paul
Schectman, Class of 1935. 76.90
  • Ten years before publication of the Manifesto of
    Surrealism, the Italian artist DeChirco was
    extending the traditions of realism in painting
    to describe dream worlds that contained aspects
    of his own life in scenes of melancholy and
    foreboding. He said he wished to combine in a
    single composition, scenes of contemporary life
    and visions of antiquity, producing a highly
    troubling dream of reality.
  • In this painting the antique world is represented
    by a broken sculpture and the historic buildings
    and city square whilst the contemporary is shown
    by the train steaming across the horizon and the
    bunch of bananas in the foreground.
  • Trains for De Chirco evoked sadness of goodbyes
    and nostalgia for what was left behind, seeing
    them as almost magical in the way they
    transported loved ones or ourselves from one
    place to another.
  • The liveliness of the train and the ripe bananas
    is contrasted with the cold, lifelessness of the
    shadowy buildings, made more sinister by the
    tilted perspective and geometric precision of the
  • The two arches look like blind eyes. The female
    bust plays across these two extremes the
    voluptuous body contrasted with its broken form
    and being made of cold, hard marble.

The Uncertainty of the Poet. 1913
  • Giorgio de Chirico. Piazza d'Italia. 1913. Oil on
    canvas. Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada.
  • Giorgio de Chirico. The Disquieting Muses. 1918.
    Oil on canvas. Private collection.

De Chirico self portrait
Frida Kahlo Pronounced FREE-da KAH lo
  • Frida Kahlo (July 6, 1907 July 13, 1954) was a
    Mexican painter.
  • In 1925, a trolley car collided with a bus Kahlo
    was riding an iron handrail impaled her, broke
    her spine, and exited through her lower body.
  • She survived her injuries and eventually regained
    her ability to walk, but she would have relapses
    of extreme pain which would plague her for life.
  • After the accident, Kahlo turned her attention
    from a medical career to painting.

Gallery Biography
Frida Kahlo Wore her heart on her canvas.
  • Drawing on her personal experiences, her works
    are often shocking in their stark portrayal of
    pain and the harsh lives of women.
  • Fifty-five of her 143 paintings are
    self-portraits that incorporate personal
    symbolism complete with graphic anatomical
  • She was also influenced by indigenous Mexican
    culture, aspects of which she portrayed in bright
    colors, with a mixture of realism and symbolism.

  • In constant pain due to an earlier accident while
    riding a bus it collided with a trolley
    resulting in 32 operations in 26 years on her
    back and leg her leg was later amputated and
  • The bulk of her 200 paintings were fantasized
    self-portraits, dealing with subjects seldom
    tested in Western art childbirth, miscarriage,
  • She delighted in role-playing and wore colorful
    Mexican costumes, basing her painting style on
    indigenous folk art and Roman Catholic devotional

  • Twice she married Diego Rivera (dee-A-go
    Riv-ERR-a) a famous Mexican Muralist. She had a
    constant obsession with him.
  • Because of her injuries and her husbands many
    affairs, Kahlos paintings tell the story of her
    physical and emotional pain.

The Two Fridas. 1939. Oil on canvas. 170 x 170
cm. Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, Mexico
  • At her first one woman show, Kahlos doctor said
    she was too ill to attend, so she had herself
    carried in on a stretcher as part of the exhibit.
    Kahlo died soon after.
  • When they pushed her body into the oven to be
    cremated, the intense heat snapped her corpse up
    to a sitting position. Her hair blazed in a ring
    of fire around her head. She looked, painter
    David Siqueiros said, as if she were smiling in
    the center of a sunflower.

Frida Kahlo. The Dream. 1940. Oil on canvas. 74 x
98.5 cm  Private collection.
Frida Kahlo. Without Hope. 1945. Oil on canvas
mounted on Masonite. 28 x 36 cm. Dolores Olmedo
Foundation, Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Frida disagreed with being labeled a surrealist
    because she said, I never painted dreams. I
    painted my own reality.

Frida Kahlo. The Dream. 1940. Oil on canvas. 74 x
98.5 cm  Private collection.
  • Her work is a rare blend of true emotion,
    heartbreak, love, and life, as well as death.
    Most of her paintings were self-portraits. She
    said, "I paint self-portraits because I am the
    person I know best. I paint my own reality. The
    only thing I know is that I paint because I need
    to, and I paint whatever passes through my head
    without any other considerations."
  • Her paintings are very open and honest. They
    reflect her emotions, the events in her life,
    changes in her feelings---whether good or bad.
    She recorded her life in paint.
  • Her imagery and style were very original,
    dramatic, and courageous.
  • Her husband, the famous Mexican muralist Diego
    Rivera, said "Frida is the only example in the
    history of art of an artist who tore open her
    chest and heart to reveal the biological truth of
    her feelings. The only woman who has expressed in
    her work an art of the feelings, functions, and
    creative power of woman."