Guides to Fine Arts Like Painting, Designing, Architecture, Sculpture, Photography and More

By James Byrd


The Surrealist movement was founded in Paris, 1924 by a small group of writers and artists who sought to channel the unconscious as a form of power to unlock the all seeing eye of the imagination. Disdaining rationalism and literary realism, was powerfully influenced by Freud, the Surrealists believed the conscious mind seemed to repress the power of the imagination and thereby seemed to have weighed it down with much taboo. Influenced by Marx, they hoped that the psyche had the power to reveal the contradictions in the everyday world and spur on everything to do with a new revolution. Their emphasis on the power of the mind and imagination puts them in the category of Romanticism. Unlike their forbears, however they believed that revelations could be found on the street itself and also in everyday life. The Surrealist impulse to tap the subconscious mind along with their interests in myth and primitivism, went on to shape the Abstract Expressionist Artists, which still remain very much influential today.

The following is a list of the most notable surrealist painters, some of which are also abstract expressionists: 1. PAUL CEZANNE (1839-1906) - "Cezanne is the father of us all." This famous quote has been attributed to both Picasso and Matisse, and certainly it does not matter who actually said it, because in either case would be appropriate. While he exhibited with the Impressionist painters, Cezanne left behind the whole group and developed a style of painting never seen thus far, which opened the door for the arrival of Cubism art, i.e., Dali's Abraham Lincoln, and the rest of the vanguards of the twentieth century. Cezanne's art also included "still life" among others.

2. SALVADOR DALI (1904-1989) - "I am Surrealism!" shouted Dal when he was expelled from the surrealist movement by Andre Breton. Although the quote sounds presumptuous... (which was not unusual in Dali's work), the fact is that Dali's paintings are now the most famous images of the entire surrealist movement. Dali's work includes theFamous Oil Paintings For Sale by Salvador Dali Chagall Gustave Klimt & Marc Chagall, one titled, The Persistence Of Memory" and several others, including a dream about a bumble bee, and another called "The Dream" and a hallucinogenic type surreal painting, "The Hallucinogenic Toreador". Dali also seems to have dabbled in cubism art, with his cubed Abraham Lincoln surrealist portrait.

3. MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985) - Artist of dreams and fantasies, Chagall was for all his life an immigrant fascinated by the lights and colors of the places he visited. Few names from the School of Paris of the early twentieth century have contributed to so much -and with such variety of ideas- to change modern Art as this man, who was "impressed by the light," as he defined it himself. He is most noted for his painting, "I And The Village".

4. GUSTAV KLIMT (1862-1918) - Half way between modernism and symbolism appears "The Kiss" painter, Gustave Klimt Oil Paintings, who was also devoted to the industrial arts. His Tree Of Life inspires nearly everyone, and his nearly abstract landscapes also make him a forerunner of geometric abstraction or cubism. He's gained most notoriety for the painting, "Tree Of Life" and "The Kiss" which recently sold in Nov. of 2011 for over $40 million. Impressive? Yes, these painters knew what they were doing from start to finish.




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