The goal of this site is to make connections between the different types of art that were created in the 20th Century. There is a saying that art influences life, or that life influences art…it seems to be debated continuously. Regardless, understanding the concept behind a particular movement in art history can sometimes help us to better understand the culture that surrounded that art; often times the art can also teach history in a less biased way than the best of history books can. As with most art movements, surrealism was inspired by science, science that came out of war.

Discoveries in science about the brain started to show that the brain operated beyond traditional beliefs.  The stress of war on the human mind was new and needed exploring.  Exploring of the brain led to new beliefs and understandings.  Freud emerged, and his researched changed the scientific view of the brain and its abilities and weaknesses hence forth.  Freud’s research was interpreted by everyone differently, and was often used to explore new areas of research into psychology, and sociology.  It was some of Freud’s research that led to the development of the Surrealist movement.

Surrealism was a cultural response to the affects and effects of war; it was also a response to science and its new found control over realism.  It was the cultural movement of Surrealism that tipped the scales and gave low arts the chance to impress the ever growing middle class.  No matter the questions you ask, the impact the Surrealist movement had on the twentieth century was far more spread than just Art; it was a new way of thinking.  Surrealism challenged the realistic views commonly held.  The cultural shift made room for abstract.  Dreams were now explored as suppressed truths that needed and outlet.  Surrealism encouraged art forms that stretched beyond known boundaries of genre, form, structure, and content.  These philosophical ideologies were the cure and escape for a century full of war, loss, and reconstruction.  The birth of Surrealism helped to situate people in culture, society, and the world through the growth of the lower art’s which were accessible to the ever growing middle class.

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A Quotation

I have chosen to include the words of Duchamp here because I believe that they reveal a truth about both surrealism and the works that are classified…

Surrealist Composition with Invisible Figures

Like most other items in this collection, Dali's painting deals with the idea of identity and body. Dali leaves out bodies completely from this…