World War 1

Surrealism started as and is in fact considered by many today as a cultural movement which is popular for its employed visual artworks and writings by group members. Though many of the artists and writers of surrealism consider their work to be an expression of philosophical movement, its works mostly feature elements of surprise and unexpected juxtapositions. According to history, this art of design developed as a result of Dada activities as they occurred in World War 1 with its most important center being Paris.

The movement then spread around the world where it affected the visual arts, languages, music and films in many countries as well as the thought and practice of political, social and philosophical theories (Jordan, 2001, pp. 12). The movement was founded on the basis of the premises that excessive rational thought and the values of the bourgeois were the major causes of World War 1 thus the writers sought to protest with anti rational, anti-art gatherings, artworks, performance and writings that went against these values and thoughts.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

This was done by writers who as a result of the war had been scattered all over the world. After the war, the writers went back to Paris where they further strengthened the movement through continued Dada activities. The development of the movement was conscious of the fact that despite the rejection of Dada on categories and labels, the resultant Surrealism would advocate for the importance of depictive and ordinary expressions but at the same time, it would seek to arrange this in a manner that was open to the full range of imagination.

This was so especially because these writers had adopted the art of publishing their thoughts and dreams, a practice that was commonly referred to as automatism and in which writers practiced spontaneous writing without censoring their thoughts (Mathews, 1976, pp. 21). In the mid 1920’s, there were a number of meetings by members who played drawing games collaboratively at the same time discussing the theories adopted by surrealism. Out of this meetings saw the development of a variety of techniques such as the frottage, decalcomania and automatic drawing.

Automatism as practiced by the surrealist implied that the writers and artists in the movement never organized their thoughts and the presented images. However, a close examination of these writings and artworks are purely automatic in their presentation thus giving the notion that the centrality of surrealism writing had been overstated and the agreement that with the introduction of other elements such as collage in this design, the automatic writing required more than strenuous set of approaches presenting a superior route towards a higher reality in the artworks.

In the later years, surrealism manifested itself into politics in which members of the movement sought to emphasize on artistic practices in politics and to super-size both the politics and the arts. In this regard, surrealism in the context of politics was seen as communist, ultra-leftist or anarchist. This is what characterized the split from Dada and is reflected in the split between anarchists and communists (Duran, 1989, pp. 26).

In the present times, surrealism can be seen as movement that has devised a method of exposing psychological truth by stripping the normal significance of ordinary objects in an effort to create an image that is beyond the ordinary formal organization and one that can evoke the viewer’s empathy. All over the world artists have continued to combine surrealism with classical sixteenth century technique and have come up with what is commonly referred to as ‘veristic surrealism’. This form of surrealism has been seen as depicting with a great detail a world analogous to the world of dreams and with a meticulous clarity for that matter.

In the present world, surrealism remains popular with the artists who have integrated various aspects of it in their artistic expressions such as in advertising (Walz, 2000, pp. 45). In essence, surrealism today can be seen as referring to a range of creative efforts and acts of revolt geared towards liberating imagination. It has had in this regard a great impact on the revolutionary and radical political movements and groups with surrealists emphasizing on the intimate link between the freeing of imagination and the mind and the liberation from archaic social structures from the repressive ones.

Still, in the present world, architecture has adopted the ideas of surrealism in the design of architecture theory and practice. In this regard, modern art of architecture design have greatly adopted surrealism and has greatly remained unchallenged and unexplored with the role of the subconscious that affects the interiors, cities, landscapes and the objects being highly adopted in this modern architecture (Hubbard, 2001, pp. 34).

Finally, surrealism has brought fascinating images which has been of great importance in toady’s world of design and a completely concept that is new in regard to what is considered reasonable for modern artist to do. It has paved way for a different era and new design of arts in the modern world with artists still developing their artworks around the ideas and theories of surrealism. For example, the installation based art of Tracey Emin who presented the Monty Python and Eddie Izzard with his free association monologues (Louise, 2002, pp17).


Duran Gloria (1989) The Antipodes of Surrealism: Salvador Dali and Remedios Varo. Symposium, Vol. 42, pp. 26 Hubbard Guy (2001) Surrealism. Arts and Activities, Vol. 130, pp. 34 Jordan Matthew (2001) Amphibologies: Ethnographic Surrealism in French Discourse on Jazz. Journal of European Studies, Vol. 31, pp. 12 Louise Tythacott (2002) Surrealism and The Exotic. London, Routledge, pp. 17 Mathews Joan (1976) Toward the Poetics of Surrealism. Syracuse University Press, pp. 21 Walz Robin (2000) Pulp Surrealism: Insolent Popular Culture in Early Twentieth-Century Paris. California, University of California Press, pp. 45