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A History of Graphic Design The Influence of Modern Art - Surrealism

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13-41 Yves Tanguy The Dadaist showed that art was not real. That all previous art offered nothing to the spiritual essence of the human condition. The Surrealists adopted this attitude from the Dadaists, but they were frustrated with the nonsense of Dada. They wanted to offer something that contributed to the nature of man. In poet André Breton’s “Manifesto of Surrealism”, 1924, “Surrealism would solve all the principal problems of life.” Surrealism was based on the conviction that dreams and other non-rational mental processes were the most important way to deal with life. Surrealism was strongly influenced by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung’s contribution that the subconscious mind was a genuine phenomenon that governed human thought and behavior. The surrealists wanted to strip away the facades that often conceal our unconscious desires. Surrealism, 1924-

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13-41 Surrealism, 1924- The Surrealists advocated for the need to allow creativity to feed on the deepest levels of the unconscious, on the dreams and hallucinations, and at the same time to exclude rational thought as far as possible. Surrealism works were characterized by limitless spaces, stream of conscious drawings and purely visual vocabulary. They advocated for spontaneous or automatic scribbles, doodles or drips as a means of bringing desires to light. They gloried in the unexpected and were interested in art inspired by dreams and the subconscious. “Everything has two aspects: the current aspect we see and the ghostly which only rare individuals see in moments of clairvoyance and metaphysical abstraction.”

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13-41 Surrealism - De Chirico Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) was known as the first Surrealist painter. His work from 1909-1919 (his metaphysical period) were memorable for their haunted, brooding moods with limitless spaces and distorted linear perspectives. He often included vacant buildings, harsh shadows and deep titled perspectives. This short period in his work is attributed to his experiences during the war while working at the hospital at Ferrara. In 1919 he returned to traditional methods and became an outspoken opponent of modern art.

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13-41 The Red Tower, De Chirico, 1913 De Chirico’s work was introduced to later Surrealists by the poet Guillaume Apollinaire. “Where Dada had been negative, destructive and perpetually exhibitionist, Surrealism professed a poetic faith in man and his spirit.” Surrealism - De Chirico “The absence of event provokes a nostalgic or melancholy mood, if one senses the wake of a momentous incident; if one feels the imminence of an act, a feeling of anxiety ensues.”

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Surrealism, Salvador Dali Salvador Dali (1904-1989), from Spain, was best known of the Surrealists. He was very technically skilled, self published, brilliant and arrogant. The extensive work he created in his lifetime included many paintings, film, sculpture, and photography. His early life was marked by his parents telling him he was his brother (whom had died before he was born) reincarnated. Salvador Dali: “All men are equal in their madness.”

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Surrealism, Salvador Dali The Persistence of Memory, one of Dali’s most famous works - the soft watches are generally interpreted as a rejection that time is rigid or deterministic. The figure on the ground is thought to be a self portrait. Dali said of this painting “to systematize confusion and thus to help discredit completely the world of reality.”

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13-41 Dali dismissed what he considered ‘passive’ methods of creation, such as the subconscious doodles of other Surrealists, and advocated an active method of creation. He often included optical effects that offered the viewer multiple forms within the same image. His goal was to release the subconscious-ness of his viewers. Surrealism, Salvador Dali

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13-41 Surrealism, Salvador Dali

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13-41 Surrealism Not all Surrealists where looking at the darker side of the subconscious, some where more playful. A few of the early Surrealist works are thought to have inspired later science-fiction themes.

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Surrealism Surrealism did not have a definitive ‘end’ as some other art movements, but simply faded as the Modernist movement marched into Post-modernism. The 1980s “New Age” philosophies are thought to have been influenced by the Surrealists ideas in subconscious. “Surrealism’s impact on graphic design has been diverse. It provided poetic examples of the liberation of the human spirit. It pioneered new techniques and demonstrated how fantasy and intuition could be expressed in visual terms.”