4470Lecture_13

4470Lecture_13 - Professor: Darius A. Spieth Art History...

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Professor: Darius A. Spieth Art History Program LSU School of Art
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Surrealism was at first a literary movement that was started in 1924 by the French writer and critic André Breton (1896-1966), who soon styled himself as the “pope” or high priest of the Surrealist movement; soon branching out into the visual arts, incl. photography It was he who had the intellectual power and authority to determine who was a true Surrealist, who was not In 1924 Breton wrote the first “Surrealist Manifesto,” which can be regarded as the founding document of the group Breton had a great interest in photographs and movies
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The Surrealists asserted the importance of dreams, art of children, art of clinically insane, “primitive” cultures as means to access new types of creative potential They found a way to "put Freud on canvas“ > dreams offered a way of tapping the subconscious for creative inspiration (although contemporaries of Freud, the Surrealists did not have full access to Freud’s theories because they had not been fully translated into French yet) They used the dream experience for experiments in “automatic writing,” requiring a trance-like state between sleep and wakening to conjure up bizarre visions, or to string together arbitrary sentences without apparent meaning The artistic forms of expression of children appealed to them, because of their alleged spontaneity and naiveté, which the Surrealists tried to capture in their art They also fancied themselves kindred spirits of the insane, whose unbridled creative forces welling from the subconscious they strove to attain; they tried to divorce themselves from logic and reason; deliberate search for proximity to madness
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Dora Maar, 29 rue d'Astorg , ca. 1936, photomontage / hand-colored gelatin-silver print Many talented women photographers were active in the Surrealist movement Dora Maar’s real name was Markovitch Henriette Dora (1907-1997); French photographer, poet and painter of Croatian descent Together she and Picasso studied printing with Man Ray (she was part of Man Ray’s circle) A found object (objet trouvé), a 15-centimeter tall bizarre statuette of a plump woman revealing a bared shoulder under the classical drapery of her dress, provides her work's focal point Like the Dadaists, Dora Maar was interested in photomontages; she also introduced visual distortions and hand-colored some of her prints; eccentricity of subject matter is reflects Surrealist interests
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Dora Maar, Père Ubu , 1936, gelatin-silver print This disturbing and mysterious image, thought to be an armadillo fetus, became an icon of the Surrealist Movement Alfred Jarry’s Dadaist Ubu trilogy (1902) became Futurist/Surrealist literary point of reference: The protagonist of the Ubu trilogy is the Surmâle , competing on a bicycle against a locomotive in an improbable Paris-Siberia race to win the heart of the daughter of a rich American industrialist; although he wins the
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4470Lecture_13 - Professor: Darius A. Spieth Art History...

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