The Surrealist Artists
The best-known Surrealist today is probably Salvador Dalí, but there were many artists in the Surrealist movement, both officially and unofficially. Here are a few examples:
- Max Ernst, an early adherent to the genre, was particularly fond of two techniques that fostered spontaneity, one called decalcomania and the other called frottage, which he helped pioneer. Both methods involve an element of unpredictability; for frottage, you create textured designs by making rubbings over substances like sand or grit; and for decalcomania, you press paint between two pieces of paper, making mirrored blot images. Ernst was also fond of collage as a technique for combining dissonant objects.
- René Magritte was a master at making nonsensical juxtapositions in his paintings. From a castle perched on a floating rock to a toy train steaming out of a fireplace, as well as all manner of oddly devised people, Magritte had a flair for devising unexpected schemes.
- Frida Kahlo is often considered a Surrealist for her vivid plunges into scenarios depicting the tumultuous psychological experiences that came with a life haunted by physical suffering.
- Man Ray helped popularize photography as an artistic medium as opposed to a purely practical endeavor. One of his techniques involved placing objects directly onto a piece of photographic paper and exposing it to light. He liked to call the results "rayographs." Ray was one of the many jack-of-all-trade Surrealists: he was a painter, sculptor, philosopher, essayist, poet and filmmaker.
- Joan Miró was one of the painters who, while not officially affiliated with the Surrealist doctrine, did paint in the Surrealist style. He specialized in using automatism to create biomorphic forms (shapes that resemble living creatures), and other abstractions.
For more on art movements and world-class artists like Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso, follow the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Brahman, Diana et al. "Surrealist Art in NOMA's Collection." New Orleans Museum of Art. 2004. (4/1/2010) http://www.noma.org/educationguides/Surreal.pdf
- Caws, Mary Ann. "The Surrealist Look: An Erotics of Encounter." MIT Press. 1999. (4/1/2010) http://books.google.com/books?id=ef39vaIt2msC&lpg=PP5&dq=history%20of%20surrealism%20site%3A.edu&pg=PP10#v=onepage&q=history%20of%20surrealism%20site:.edu&f=false
- Dammann, Guy. "Surrealist Manifesto sold for real money." Guardian. May 21, 2008. (4/2/2010) http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/may/21/france.art
- "Decalcomania." Oxford University Press. (4/1/2010) http://www.moma.org/collection/details.php?theme_id=10957
- Espace Dalí Web site. (4/1/2010) http://www.daliparis.com/english/
- Fundació Gala-Salvador Dali Web site. http://www.salvador-dali.org/
- Harrison, Charles and Paul Wood. "Art in theory, 1900-2000: an anthology of changing ideas." http://books.google.com/books?id=SWu4SB92fHMC&lpg=PA447&dq=andre%20breton%20surrealist%20first%20manifesto%201924&pg=PA447#v=onepage&q=&f=false
- Hofmann, Irene. "Documents of Dada and Surrealism: Dada and Surrealist Journals in the Mary Reynolds Collection." The Art Institute of Chicago. 2001. (4/2/2010) http://www.artic.edu/reynolds/essays/hofmann.php
- "Joan Miró." Encyclopedia of World Biographies. (4/1/2010) http://www.notablebiographies.com/Ma-Mo/Mir-Joan.html
- "Man Ray: Prophet of the Avant-Garde." PBS. Sept. 7, 2005. (4/1/2010) http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/man-ray/prophet-of-the-avant-garde/510/
- Párez-Tibi, Dora. "Frottage." Oxford University Press. (4/1/2010) http://www.moma.org/collection/theme.php?theme_id=10084
- Peppiat, Michael. "Paranoia Personified." New York Times. Nov. 22, 1998. (4/1/2010) http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/g/gibson-dali.html
- Samuel, Henry. "André Breton's Surrealist Manifesto sold at auction in France." The Telegraph. May 22, 2008. (4/1/2010) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/2003659/Andre-Bretons-Surrealist-Manifesto-sold-at-auction-in-France.html
- "Surrealist Art." Centre Pompidou. (4/1/2010) http://www.cnac-gp.fr/education/ressources/ENS-Surrealistart-EN/ENS-Surrealistart-EN.htm#origins
- Tansey, Richard and Kleiner, Fred. "Gardner's Art Through the Ages." Harcourt Brace
- College Publishers. 1996. (4/1/2010)
- Voorhies, James. "Surrealism." The Metropolitan Museum of Art. October 2004. (4/1/2010) http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/surr/hd_surr.htm
- Walz, Robin. "Pulp surrealism: insolent popular culture in early twentieth-century Paris." University of California Press. 2000. (4/1/2010) http://books.google.com/books?id=OjWAyFBND1cC&lpg=PP1&dq=history%20of%20surrealism%20site%3A.edu&pg=PT16#v=onepage&q=&f=false