The Basics: Surrealism

By Katherine Barton

Surrealism is an avant-garde movement focusing on the potential of the unconscious mind. Many surrealist artworks break the barrier between dreams and reality.

Sigmund Freud is called the father of psychoanalysis. He wrote The Interpretation of Dreams which analyzed the meaning of dreams and the unconscious mind. His works provided a basis for surrealism and was invaluable in the development of surrealism.

Salvador Dali was a Spanish artist that put his hallucinations and dreams into his art. He is a renowned painter in the surrealist movement. The Persistence of Memory is iconic and Swans Reflecting Elephants is also very well-known and a wonderful presentation of surrealism:

Surrealist film is characterized by irrational juxtapositions, non sequitur cuts, and shocking images.The first surrealist film was The Seashell and the Clergyman. It was directed and produced by Germaine Dulac. The film symbolizes the effects of conformity and authority on society.




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