who were the surrealists
An objectвЂ”often utilitarian, manufactured, or naturally occurringвЂ”that was not originally designed for an artistic purpose, but has been repurposed in an artistic context.
The natural landforms of a region; also, an image that has natural scenery as its primary focus.
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Man Ray (18901976)
Born Emmanuel Radinski, he was a painter, sculptor, and film-maker, as well as one of the greatest photographers of his day, who explored numerous styles including Cubism, Dada, packaged objects, Surrealism and portrait photography. A highly inventive photographer, known for his techniques of solarization, ‘Rayographs‘, he also produced sculptures and paintings. His masterpiece is Enigma of Isadore Ducasse (1920).
Claude Cahun (1894-1954)
Born Lucy Schwob, she is best known for her self-portrait photographs showing herself dressed as a man or made up like a doll.
Raoul Ubac (1910-85)
Belgian photographer, painter, graphic artist, sculptor, celebrated for his chemical manipulation of the photographic print, as exemplified by Woman Cloud (1939, Pompidou Centre).
Born Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schulze, he was a German painter and photographer who is now best remembered for his close-up surrealist photographs of kitchen objects, including skinned animals as well as more conventional utensils.
The word ‘surrealist’ (suggesting ‘beyond reality’) was coined by the French avant-garde poet Guillaume Apollinaire in a play written in 1903 and performed in 1917. But it was André Breton, leader of a new grouping of poets and artists in Paris, who, in his Surrealist Manifesto (1924), defined surrealism as:
A twentieth-century literary, philosophical and artistic movement that explored the workings of the mind, championing the irrational, the poetic and the revolutionary
Surrealism has no unified style, but, in painting, one can distinguish a range of possibilities falling between two extremes. At one pole, the viewer is confronted by a world that is completely defined and minutely depicted but that makes no rational sense: realistically painted images are removed from their normal contexts and reassembled within an ambiguous, paradoxical, or shocking framework. It is exemplified in the works of such artists as René Magritte and Salvador Dalí. At the other pole, variously called organic, emblematic, or absolute Surrealism, the viewer is confronted with abstract images, usually biomorphic, that are suggestive but indefinite. This approach is exemplified by artists such as Jean Arp, Max Ernst, and Joan Miró.
Poet Guillaume Apollinaire first used the term “surrealist” in 1917 to describe Jean Cocteau’s ballet Parade, and the word appeared in his own play Les Mamelles de Tirésias. André Breton, who later founded the Surrealist movement, adopted the term for the Manifeste du surréalisme (1924), and his definition is translated as “pure psychic automatism, by which it is intended to express…the real process of thought. It is the dictation of thought, free from any control by the reason and of any aesthetic or moral preoccupation.” The word surreal became a part of everyday language in subsequent decades and entered the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 1967. The dictionary defines it as “marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream.”
After 1917, de Chirico abandoned that style, but his influence reached the Surrealists through German Dadaist Max Ernst. Ernst moved to Paris in 1922 as the Dada movement ended and was crucial to the beginning of Surrealism, especially because of his collage work at the time.
Alberto Giacometti was a Swiss sculptor who met Masson in 1928. He was influenced by African and Egyptian art, which he combined with the dreamlike aesthetic to create bizarre, stylized figures.