Expressionism : An International Artistic And Literary Movement

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To understand Surrealism, we must first look at Dadaism, the art movement from which Surrealism stems. Dadaism was an international artistic and literary movement which began in 1916 and lasted until the mid 1920s. Artists involved in the Dada movement were experimental and controversial. They constantly pushed and broke the boundaries of what art is defined as and what art-making could be. They used chance based procedures and unconventional materials such as collages and photo-montages created from newspapers, advertisements and political propaganda. They also embraced poetry, music and performance art. The art movements prior to Dadaism, including Impressionism, Fauvism and Cubism, were concerned with artists developing their talents,…show more content…
(See Visual 2) The title explains how this work was created – Arp tore up pieces of paper and let them fall on to a background before sticking them down. The anarchistic and unpredictable way in which this piece was created illustrates the typical mindset of a Dada artist and the movement itself. Soon after arriving in Zurich, the Dada movement spread to New York, Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne, before it finally erupted in Paris. The leader of the Dada movement in Paris was a poet named Andre Breton. Breton is an important figure as he would go on to become the leader of the Paris Surrealist movement as well. Andre Breton served as a nurse during the first world war where he treated many soldiers who suffered from shell shock as a result of the traumatic environment of the trenches and war zones. One of the soldiers he came across deeply influenced him. This soldier believed that the war was fake and that the government was using fake smoke, weapons and blood in order to convince him that the war was taking place. Breton concluded that the mind has an incredible power to see altern realities other possibilitites. Breton began to use ideas from the famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud to help treat his patients – in particular Freud’s ‘Interpretations of Dreams’ from 1900. In this book, Freud proposed the idea of the unconscious mind and the irrational things which stem from it – slips of the tongue, dreams, strange meetings and weird. Like the
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