‘Although it has come to be known primarily through the visual arts, surrealism was not a visual idea, or style, but a way of looking at life- politically, socially and philosophically, as well as aesthetically.’ (Michael Lloyd). Discuss critically. Coming into the prominence of the 20th century Surrealism was initially a literary movement which derived from the ‘Surrealist Manifesto’ 1924 by Andre’ Breton, as well as the theories by Sigmund Freud. Michael Lloyd argues that surrealism was a lifestyle with the determination for the marvellous rather than a captivating style or genre which it is often regarded as. No agenda was set for Surrealist art until Breton wrote ‘Surrealism in Painting’ 1925. Only did Breton passively refer to painting as a means to represent the ideas of his own and other writers to further explore theories within the first manifesto. These notions and concepts are evident through a range of works by a variety of artists.
Further establishing that despite the variety of visual traits and styles amongst artists, similar concepts are shared between Surrealist Artists. For instance Renee Magritte uses hyper realism that attracts audiences which stimulates their perception of reality, Max Ernst’s simplification of objects are initiated from a more non-conscious approach. Similarly to Magritte’s realistic approach Salvador Dali as well as Many Surrealist artists are more recognizable as surrealists than other is as their work exemplifies surrealist themes rather than just a ‘style’ as Lloyd states. This establishes the notion that despite the range of visual differences amongst artists, the ideas and theories are what launch their motives within their work. This is seen within Renee Magritte’s reoccurring motif’s and Dali’s hyper realism as well as Max Ernst’s use of ‘frottage’ and texture as a means of communication of Breton and Freud’s theories.
Surrealists shared the same beliefs and same subject matter. The movement was initially a literary movement which derived heavily upon the first manifesto written by Andre’ Breton in 1924 as well as the writing’s of Sigmund Freud.
as they were initially literary movement in a determine quest for the marvellous. Michael Llyod who is a significant curator during the Michael Llyod argued that surrealism was a means of life and followed heavily upon the readings of the surrealism manifesto by Breton which focused on certain ideas. These ideas heavily influenced artists unintentionally creating a genre which is recognized to be as surrealistic. Certain traits are identified through a range of works of artists and some aren’t that clear however still follow Breton’s philiosophies which link back to the idea of it being a concept rather than a style.