Art of the 20th Century




A Revolution in the Arts

 








Art Styles in 20th century Art Map


 



ADDITION

 



From Surrealism to Fantastic Art



Surrealism, Dream art, Visionary art, Neo-surrealism,
Magic realism, Psychedelic art,
Fantastic realism, Vienna School of Fantastic realism,
Fantastic art.







 


From Surrealism to Fantastic Art
 


Surrealism

Dietrich Schughardt 
Pavel Tchelitchew
Stanley William Hayter
Arnulf Rainer
Boris Margo
James Gleeson
Antonio Berni
Collette Calascione
Alfredo Castaneda
Tiffany Bozic
Anne Bachelier
Marcel Jean
Edward Wadsworth
Nicholas Kalmakoff
Catalina Chervin
Felix de Recondo


Surrealism - photographers

Claude Cahun
Bill Brandt 
Edward Weston
Clarence Laughlin
Paul Outerbridge
Rodney Smith
Maurice Tabard
Joyce Tenneson
Jerry Uelsmann
Dominic Rouse
Ralph Eugene Meatyard
Paul Cava


Dream art

Jake Baddeley


Visionary art

Remedios Varo  
A. Andrew Gonzalez

Antonio Roybal
De Es Schwertberger
Robert Venosa
Vincent  Castiglia
Amanda Sage
Alex Grey


Neo-surrealism

George Grie
Mirko Sevic


Magic realism

Heather Nevay
John Wilde
Charles Becker
Brad Noble
George Tooker

Rob Gonsalves
Michael Parkes
Paul Cadmus
Ivan Albright
Jared French
Peter Blume
Will Wilson
Mati Klarwein


Psychedelic art

M.C. Escher 
Hans Ruedi Giger


Fantastic realism, Vienna School of Fantastic realism

Rudolf Hausner
Ernst Fuchs
Brigid Marlin
Hugues Gillet
Victor Safonkin
Aric Brauer
Wolfgang Hutter
Bruno di Majo
Jacek Yerka
Odd Nerdrum


Fantastic art

Zdzislaw Beksinski
David Bowers
Frank Kortan
Siegfried Zademack

Michael Fuchs
Jaroslaw Kukowski
Chris Mars
David Ho
Eli Tiunine
Michael Bergt

Edward Black Kim
Istvan Sandorfi
 

 




Surrealism

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

 

Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the mid-1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members. The works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur, however many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost with the works being an artifact, and leader André Breton was explicit in his assertion that Surrealism was above all a revolutionary movement. From the Dada activities of World War I Surrealism was formed with the most important center of the movement in Paris and from the 1920s spreading around the globe, eventually affecting films such as the Angel's Egg and El Topo, amongst others.

Founding of the movement

 

World War I scattered the writers and artists who had been based in Paris, and while away from Paris many involved themselves in the Dada movement believing that excessive rational thought and bourgeois values had brought the terrifying conflict upon the world. The Dadaists protested with anti-rational anti-art gatherings, performances, writing and art works. After the war when they returned to Paris the Dada activities continued.

During the war Surrealism's soon-to-be leader André Breton who had trained in medicine and psychiatry, served in a neurological hospital where he used the psychoanalytic methods of Sigmund Freud with soldiers who were shell-shocked. He also met the young writer Jacques Vaché and felt that he was the spiritual son of writer and pataphysician Alfred Jarry, and he came to admire the young writer's anti-social attitude and disdain for established artistic tradition. Later Breton wrote, "In literature, I am successively taken with Rimbaud, with Jarry, with Apollinaire, with Nouveau, with Lautréamont, but it is Jacques Vaché to whom I owe the most."

Back in Paris, Breton joined in the Dada activities and also started the literary journal Littérature along with Louis Aragon and Philippe Soupault. They began experimenting with automatic writing—spontaneously writing without censoring their thoughts—and published the "automatic" writings, as well as accounts of dreams, in Littérature. Breton and Soupault delved deeper into automatism and wrote the novel The Magnetic Fields (Les Champs Maqnétiques) in 1920. They continued the automatic writing, gathering more artists and writers into the group, and coming to believe that automatism was a better tactic for societal change than the Dada attack on prevailing values. In addition to Breton, Aragon and Soupault the original Surrealists included Paul Éluard, Benjamin Péret, René Crevel, Robert Desnos, Jacques Baron, Max Morise, Marcel Noll, Pierre Naville, Roger Vitrac, Simone Breton, Gala Éluard, Max Ernst, Man Ray, Hans Arp, Georges Malkine, Michel Leiris, Georges Limbour, Antonin Artaud, Raymond Queneau, André Masson, Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Prévert and Yves Tanguy.
As they developed their philosophy they felt that while Dada rejected categories and labels, Surrealism would advocate the idea that ordinary and depictive expressions are vital and important, but that the sense of their arrangement must be open to the full range of imagination according to the Hegelian Dialectic. They also looked to the Marxist dialectic and the work of such theorists as Walter Benjamin and Herbert Marcuse.

Freud's work with free association, dream analysis and the hidden unconscious was of the utmost importance to the Surrealists in developing methods to liberate imagination. However, they embraced idiosyncrasy, while rejecting the idea of an underlying madness or darkness of the mind. (Later the idiosyncratic Salvador Dalí explained it as: "There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad."

The group aimed to revolutionize human experience, including its personal, cultural, social, and political aspects, by freeing people from what they saw as false rationality, and restrictive customs and structures. Breton proclaimed, the true aim of Surrealism is "long live the social revolution, and it alone!" To this goal, at various times surrealists aligned with communism and anarchism.

In 1924 they declared their intents and philosophy with the issuance of the first Surrealist Manifesto. That same year they established the Bureau of Surrealist Research, and began publishing the journal La Revolution surrealiste.
 

 

Surrealist Manifesto

Breton wrote the manifesto of 1924 (another was issued in 1929) that defines the purposes of the group and includes citations of the influences on Surrealism, examples of Surrealist works and discussion of Surrealist automatism. He defined Surrealism as:
 

Dictionary: Surrealism, n. Pure psychic automatism, by which one proposes to express, either verbally, in writing, or by any other manner, the real functioning of thought. Dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason, outside of all aesthetic and moral preoccupation.

Encyclopedia: Surrealism. Philosophy. Surrealism is based on the belief in the superior reality of certain forms of previously neglected associations, in the omnipotence of dream, in the disinterested play of thought. It tends to ruin once and for all other psychic mechanisms and to substitute itself for them in solving all the principal problems of life.

 

 

Towards another definition

 

The English word "Surrealism" is a mis-translation of the French word "Surréalisme." The correct translation should be "Superrealism." Breton somewhere said that the "surréel is to the réel what the surnaturel is to the naturel." English-speakers say "supernatural". The reason why this matters is that the prefix "surr-" in English is often, not always, associated with the Latin prefix "sub" e.g. surreptitious (Fr. subreptice), surrogate (Fr. subrogé), implying exactly the opposite of the intended meaning.

Breton would later qualify the first of these definitions by saying "in the absence of conscious moral or aesthetic self-censorship," and by his admission through subsequent developments, that these definitions were capable of considerable expansion.

La Revolution surrealiste

 

Shortly after releasing the first Surrealist Manifesto in 1924, the Surrealists published the inaugural issue of La Révolution surréaliste and publication continued into 1929. Pierre Naville and Benjamin Péret were the initial directors of the publication and modeled the format of the journal on the conservative scientific review La Nature. The format was deceiving, and to the Surrealists' delight La Révolution surréaliste was consistently scandalous and revolutionary. The journal focused on writing with most pages densely packed with columns of text, but also included reproductions of art, among them works by Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst, André Masson and Man Ray.

Bureau of Surrealist Research
 

The Bureau of Surrealist Research (Centrale Surréaliste) was the Paris office where the Surrealist writers and artists gathered to meet, hold discussions, and conduct interviews with the goal of investigating speech under trance.

Expansion
 

The movement in the mid-1920s was characterized by meetings in cafes where the Surrealists played collaborative drawing games and discussed the theories of Surrealism. The Surrealists developed techniques such as automatic drawing.
Breton initially doubted that visual arts could even be useful in the Surrealist movement since they appeared to be less malleable and open to chance and automatism. This caution was overcome by the discovery of such techniques as frottage, and decalcomania.
 

Soon more visual artists joined Surrealism including Giorgio de Chirico, Salvador Dalí, Enrico Donati, Alberto Giacometti, Valentine Hugo, Méret Oppenheim, Toyen, Grégoire Michonze, and Luis Bunuel. Though Breton admired Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp and courted them to join the movement, they remained peripheral.

More writers also joined, including former Dada leader Tristan Tzara, René Char, Georges Sadoul, André Thirion and Maurice Heine.

In 1925 an autonomous Surrealist group formed in Brussels becoming official in 1926. The group included the musician, poet and artist E.L.T. Mesens, painter and writer René Magritte, Paul Nougé, Marcel Lecomte, Camille Goemans, and André Souris. In 1927 they were joined by the writer Louis Scutenaire. They corresponded regularly with the Paris group, and in 1927 both Goemans and Magritte moved to Paris and frequented Breton’s circle.

The artists, with their roots in Dada and Cubism, the abstraction of Wassily Kandinsky and Expressionism, and Post-Impressionism, also reached to older "bloodlines" such as Hieronymus Bosch, and the so-called primitive and naive arts.

André Masson's automatic drawings of 1923, are often used as the point of the acceptance of visual arts and the break from Dada, since they reflect the influence of the idea of the unconscious mind. Another example is Alberto Giacometti's 1925 Torso, which marked his movement to simplified forms and inspiration from preclassical sculpture.

However, a striking example of the line used to divide Dada and Surrealism among art experts is the pairing of 1925's Little Machine Constructed by Minimax Dadamax in Person (Von minimax dadamax selbst konstruiertes maschinchen) with The Kiss (Le Baiser) from 1927 by Ernst. The first is generally held to have a distance, and erotic subtext, whereas the second presents an erotic act openly and directly. In the second the influence of Miró and the drawing style of Picasso is visible with the use of fluid curving and intersecting lines and colour, where as the first takes a directness that would later be influential in movements such as Pop art.

Giorgio de Chirico, and his previous development of Metaphysical art, was one of the important joining figures between the philosophical and visual aspects of Surrealism. Between 1911 and 1917, he adopted an unornamented depictional style whose surface would be adopted by others later.
The Red Tower (La tour rouge) from 1913 shows the stark colour contrasts and illustrative style later adopted by Surrealist painters. His 1914 The Nostalgia of the Poet (La Nostalgie du poete) has the figure turned away from the viewer, and the juxtaposition of a bust with glasses and a fish as a relief defies conventional explanation. He was also a writer, and his novel Hebdomeros presents a series of dreamscapes with an unusual use of punctuation, syntax and grammar designed to create a particular atmosphere and frame around its images. His images, including set designs for the Ballets Russes, would create a decorative form of visual Surrealism, and he would be an influence on the two artists who would be even more closely associated with Surrealism in the public mind: Salvador Dalí and Magritte. He would, however, leave the Surrealist group in 1928.

In 1924, Miro and Masson applied Surrealism theory to painting explicitly leading to the La Peinture Surrealiste exhibition.

Breton published Surrealism and Painting in 1928 which summarized the movement to that point, though he continued to update the work until the 1960s.

Major exhibitions in the 1920s

1925 - La Peinture Surrealiste - The first ever Surrealist exhibition at Gallerie Pierre in Paris. Displayed works by Masson, Man Ray, Klee, Miró, and others. The show confirmed that Surrealism had a component in the visual arts (though it had been initially debated whether this was possible), techniques from Dada, such as photomontage were used.
Galerie Surréaliste opened on March 26, 1926 with an exhibition by Man Ray.

Writing continues
 

The first Surrealist work, according to leader Breton, was Magnetic Fields (Les Champs Magnétiques) (1921). But even before that, in 1919, Littérature contained automatist works and accounts of dreams. The magazine and the portfolio both showed their disdain for literal meanings given to objects and focused rather on the undertones, the poetic undercurrents present. Not only did they give emphasis to the poetic undercurrents, but also to the connotations and the overtones which "exist in ambiguous relationships to the visual images."

Because Surrealist writers seldom, if ever, appear to organize their thoughts and the images they present, some people find much of their work difficult to parse. This notion however is a superficial comprehension, prompted no doubt by Breton's initial emphasis on automatic writing as the main route toward a higher reality. But — as in Breton's case itself — much of what is presented as purely automatic is actually edited and very "thought out". Breton himself later admitted that automatic writing's centrality had been overstated, and other elements were introduced, especially as the growing involvement of visual artists in the movement forced the issue, since automatic painting required a rather more strenuous set of approaches. Thus such elements as collage were introduced, arising partly from an ideal of startling juxtapositions as revealed in Pierre Reverdy's poetry. And — as in Magritte's case (where there is no obvious recourse to either automatic techniques or collage) the very notion of convulsive joining became a tool for revelation in and of itself. Surrealism was meant to be always in flux — to be more modern than modern — and so it was natural there should be a rapid shuffling of the philosophy as new challenges arose.

Surrealists revived interest in Isidore Ducasse, known by his pseudonym "Le Comte de Lautréamont" and for the line "beautiful as the chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella", and Arthur Rimbaud, two late 19th century writers believed to be the precursors of Surrealism.

Examples of Surrealist literature are Crevel's Mr. Knife Miss Fork (1931), Aragon's Irene's Cunt (1927), Breton's Sur la route de San Romano (1948), Peret's Death to the Pigs (1929), and Artaud's Le Pese-Nerfs (1926).

La Révolution surréaliste continued publication into 1929 with most pages densely packed with columns of text, but also included reproductions of art, among them works by de Chirico, Ernst, Masson and Man Ray. Other works included books, poems, pamphlets, automatic texts and theoretical tracts.

Films from Surrealists
Early films by Surrealists include:
Entr'acte by René Clair (1924)
La Coquille et le clergyman by Germaine Dulac, screenplay by Antonin Artaud (1927)
Un chien andalou by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dalí (1928)
L'Étoile de mer by Man Ray (1928)
L'Âge d'Or by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dalí (1930)
Le sang d'un poète by Jean Cocteau (1930)
 

 

Surrealism and international politics
 

Surrealism as a political force developed unevenly around the world, in some places more emphasis was on artistic practices, in other places political and in other places still, Surrealist praxis looked to supersize both the arts and politics. During the 1930s the Surrealist idea spread from Europe to North America, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and throughout Asia. As both an artistic idea and as an ideology of political change.

Politically Surrealism was ultra-leftist, communist, or anarchist. The split from Dada has been characterised as a split between anarchists and communists, with the Surrealists as communist. Breton and his comrades supported Leon Trotsky and his International Left Opposition for a while, though there was a certain openness to anarchism that manifested more fully after World War II. Some Surrealists such as Benjamin Peret aligned with forms of left communism. Dalí supported capitalism and the fascist dictatorship of Francisco Franco but cannot be said to represent a trend in Surrealism in this respect; in fact he was considered, by Breton and his associates, to have betrayed and left Surrealism.

Breton’s followers, along with the Communist Party, were working for the "liberation of man." However, Breton’s group refused to prioritize the proletarian struggle over radical creation such that their struggles with the Party made the late 1920s a turbulent time for both. Many individuals closely associated with Breton, notably Louis Aragon, left his group to work more closely with the Communists.

Surrealists have often sought to link their efforts with political ideals and activities. In the "Declaration of January 27, 1925" for example, members of the Paris-based Bureau of Surrealist Research (including André Breton, Louis Aragon, and, Antonin Artaud, as well as some two dozen others) declared their affinity for revolutionary politics. While this was initially a somewhat vague formulation, by the 1930s many Surrealists had strongly identified themselves with communism. The foremost document of this tendency within Surrealism is the "Manifesto for a Free Revolutionary Art" published under the names of Breton and Diego Rivera but actually co-authored by Breton and Leon Trotsky.

However, in 1933 the Surrealists’ assertion that a 'proletarian literature' within a capitalist society was impossible led to their break with the Association des Ecrivains et Artistes Révolutionnaires, and the expulsion of Breton, Éluard and Crevel from the Communist Party.

In 1925, the Paris Surrealist group and the extreme left of the French Communist Party came together to support Abd-el-Krim, leader of the Rif uprising against French colonialism in Morocco. In an open letter to writer and French ambassador to Japan, Paul Claudel, the Paris group announced:

"We Surrealists pronounced ourselves in favour of changing the imperialist war, in its chronic and colonial form, into a civil war. Thus we placed our energies at the disposal of the revolution, of the proletariat and its struggles, and defined our attitude towards the colonial problem, and hence towards the colour question."

The anticolonial revolutionary and proletarian politics of "Murderous Humanitarianism" (1932) which was drafted mainly by Rene Crevel, signed by André Breton, Paul Éluard, Benjamin Peret, Yves Tanguy, and the Martiniquan Surrealists Pierre Yoyotte and J.M. Monnerot perhaps makes it the original document of what is later called 'black Surrealism', although it is the contact between Aimé Césaire and Breton in the 1940s in Martinique that really lead to the communication of what is known as 'black Surrealism'.

Anticolonial revolutionary writers in the Négritude movement of Martinique, a French colony at the time, took up Surrealism as a revolutionary method - a critique of European culture and a radical subjective. This linked with other Surrealists and was very important for the subsequent development of Surrealism as a revolutionary praxis. The journal Tropiques, featuring the work of Cesaire along with René Ménil, Lucie Thésée, Aristide Maugée and others, was first published in 1940.

It is interesting to note that when in 1938 André Breton traveled with his wife the painter Jacqueline Lamba to Mexico to meet Trotsky; staying as the guest of Diego Rivera's former wife Guadalupe Marin; he met Frida Kahlo and saw her paintings for the first time. Breton declared Kahlo to be an "innate" Surrealist painter.

Internal politics
 

In 1929 the satellite group around the journal Le Grand Jeu, including Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, Maurice Henry and the Czech painter Josef Sima, was ostracized. Also in February, Breton asked Surrealists to assess their "degree of moral competence", and theoretical refinements included in the second manifeste du surréalisme excluded anyone reluctant to commit to collective action: Leiris, Limbour, Morise, Baron, Queneau, Prévert, Desnos, Masson and Boiffard. They moved to the periodical Documents, edited by Georges Bataille, whose anti-idealist materialism produced a hybrid Surrealism exposed the base instincts of humans.

Other members were ousted over the years for a variety of infractions, both political and personal, and others left of to pursue creativity of their own style.
 

 

Golden age
 

Throughout the 1930s, Surrealism continued to become more visible to the public at large. A Surrealist group developed in Britain and, according to Breton, their 1936 London International Surrealist Exhibition was a high water mark of the period and became the model for international exhibitions.

Dalí and Magritte created the most widely recognized images of the movement. Dalí joined the group in 1929, and participated in the rapid establishment of the visual style between 1930 and 1935.

Surrealism as a visual movement had found a method: to expose psychological truth by stripping ordinary objects of their normal significance, in order to create a compelling image that was beyond ordinary formal organization, in order to evoke empathy from the viewer.

1931 marked a year when several Surrealist painters produced works which marked turning points in their stylistic evolution: Magritte's Voice of Space (La Voix des airs) is an example of this process, where three large spheres representing bells hang above a landscape. Another Surrealist landscape from this same year is Yves Tanguy's Promontory Palace (Palais promontoire), with its molten forms and liquid shapes. Liquid shapes became the trademark of Dalí, particularly in his The Persistence of Memory, which features the image of watches that sag as if they are melting.

The characteristics of this style - a combination of the depictive, the abstract, and the psychological - came to stand for the alienation which many people felt in the modern period, combined with the sense of reaching more deeply into the psyche, to be "made whole with one's individuality".

Long after personal, political and professional tensions fragmented the Surrealist group, Magritte and Dalí continued to define a visual program in the arts. This program reached beyond painting, to encompass photography as well, as can be seen from a Man Ray self portrait, whose use of assemblage influenced Robert Rauschenberg's collage boxes.

During the 1930s Peggy Guggenheim, an important American art collector, married Max Ernst and began promoting work by other Surrealists such as Tanguy and the British artist John Tunnard.

 

World War II and the Post War period
 

World War II created havoc not only for the general population of Europe but especially for the European artists and writers that opposed Fascism, and Nazism. Many important artists fled to North America, and relative safety in the United States. The art community in New York City in particular was already grappling with Surrealist ideas and several artists like Arshile Gorky, Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, and Roberto Matta, converged closely with the surrealist artists themselves, albeit with some suspicion and reservations. Ideas concerning the unconscious and dream imagery were quickly embraced. By the Second World War, the taste of the American avant-garde swung decisively towards Abstract Expressionism with the support of key taste makers, including Peggy Guggenheim, Leo Steinberg and Clement Greenberg. However, it should not be easily forgotten that Abstract Expressionism itself grew directly out of the meeting of American (particularly New York) artists with European Surrealists self-exiled during WWII. In particular, Arshile Gorky influenced the development of this American art form, which, as Surrealism did, celebrated the instantaneous human act as the well-spring of creativity. The early work of many Abstract Expressionists reveals a tight bond between the more superficial aspects of both movements, and the emergence (at a later date) of aspects of Dadaistic humor in such artists as Rauschenberg sheds an even starker light upon the connection. Up until the emergence of Pop Art, Surrealism can be seen to have been the single most important influence on the sudden growth in American arts, and even in Pop, some of the humor manifested in Surrealism can be found, often turned to a cultural criticism.

The Second World War overshadowed, for a time, almost all intellectual and artistic production. In 1940 Yves Tanguy married American Surrealist painter Kay Sage. In 1941, Breton went to the United States, where he co-founded the short-lived magazine VVV with Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, and the American artist David Hare. However, it was the American poet, Charles Henri Ford, and his magazine View which offered Breton a channel for promoting Surrealism in the United States. The View special issue on Duchamp was crucial for the public understanding of Surrealism in America. It stressed his connections to Surrealist methods, offered interpretations of his work by Breton, as well as Breton's view that Duchamp represented the bridge between early modern movements, such as Futurism and Cubism, to Surrealism.

Though the war proved disruptive for Surrealism, the works continued. Many Surrealist artists continued to explore their vocabularies, including Magritte. Many members of the Surrealist movement continued to correspond and meet. While Dalí may have been excommunicated by Breton, he neither abandoned his themes from the 1930s, including references to the "persistence of time" in a later painting, nor did he become a depictive pompier. His classic period did not represent so sharp a break with the past as some descriptions of his work might portray, and some, such as Thirion, argued that there were works of his after this period that continued to have some relevance for the movement.

During the 1940s Surrealism's influence was also felt in England and America. Mark Rothko took an interest in biomorphic figures, and in England Henry Moore, Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and Paul Nash used or experimented with Surrealist techniques. However, Conroy Maddox, one of the first British Surrealists whose work in this genre dated from 1935, remained within the movement, and organized an exhibition of current Surrealist work in 1978 in response to an earlier show which infuriated him because it did not properly represent Surrealism. Maddox's exhibition, titled Surrealism Unlimited, was held in Paris and attracted international attention. He held his last one-man show in 2002, and died three years later. Magritte's work became more realistic in its depiction of actual objects, while maintaining the element of juxtaposition, such as in 1951's Personal Values (Les Valeurs Personneles) and 1954's Empire of Light (L’Empire des lumières). Magritte continued to produce works which have entered artistic vocabulary, such as Castle in the Pyrenees (La Chateau des Pyrenees), which refers back to Voix from 1931, in its suspension over a landscape.

Other figures from the Surrealist movement were expelled. Several of these artists, like Roberto Matta (by his own description) "remained close to Surrealism."

Many new artists explicitly took up the Surrealist banner for themselves. Dorothea Tanning and Louise Bourgeois continued to work, for example, with Tanning's Rainy Day Canape from 1970. Duchamp continued to produce sculpture in secret including an installation with the realistic depiction of a woman viewable only through a peephole.

Breton continued to write and espouse the importance of liberating of the human mind, as with the publication The Tower of Light in 1952. Breton's return to France after the War, began a new phase of Surrealist activity in Paris, and his critiques of rationalism and dualism found a new audience. Breton insisted that Surrealism was an ongoing revolt against the reduction of humanity to market relationships, religious gestures and misery and to espouse the importance of liberating of the human mind.
 

Post Breton Surrealism

There is no clear consensus about the end of Surrealism, or if there is an end, of the Surrealist movement. Some art historians suggest that WWII effectively disbanded the movement. However, art historian Sarane Alexandrian (1970) states, "the death of André Breton in 1966 marked the end of Surrealism as an organized movement." There have also been attempts to tie the obituary of the movement to the 1989 death of Salvador Dalí.

In the 1960s, avantegardists grouped around the Parisian Situationist were closely associated with Surrealism. While the leadership - especially Guy Debord was critical and distanced himself from Surrealism, others such as Asger Jorn were explicitly using Surrealist techniques and methods. The 1968 General strike and student revolt in France included a number of Surrealist ideas, and among the slogans the students spray-painted on the walls of the Sorbonne were familiar Surrealist ones. Joan Miró would commemorate this in a painting titled May 1968. There were also groups who associated with both currents and were more atttached to Surrealism, such as the Revolutionary Surrealist Group.

In Europe and all over the world since the 1960s, artists have combined Surrealism with what is believed to be a classical 16th century technique called mischtechnik, a kind of mix of egg tempera and oil paint rediscovered by Ernst Fuchs, a contemporary of Dalí, and now practiced and taught by many followers, including the highly regarded Robert Venosa and Chris Mars who has recently exhibited at major museums. The former curator of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Michael Bell, has called this style of Surrealism "veristic Surrealism". Veristic Surrealism, depicts with meticulous clarity and often in great detail a world analogous to the dream world. Other tempera artists, such as Robert Vickrey, regularly depict Surreal imagery.

During the 1980s, behind the Iron Curtain, Surrealism again entered into politics with an underground artistic opposition movement known as the Orange Alternative. The Orange Alternative was created in 1981 by Waldemar Fydrych (alias 'Major'), a graduate of history and art history at the University of Wrocław. They used Surrealist symbolism and terminology in their large scale happenings organized in the major Polish cities during the Jaruzelski regime, and painted Surrealist graffiti on spots covering up anti-regime slogans. Major himself was the author of a "Manifesto of Socialist Surrealism". In this manifesto, he stated that the socialist (communist) system had become so Surrealistic that it could be seen as an expression of art itself.

Surrealistic art remains enormously popular with museum patrons. The Guggenheim Museum in New York City held an exhibit, Two Private Eyes, in 1999, and in 2001 Tate Modern held an exhibition of Surrealist art that attracted over 170,000 visitors. In 2002 the Metropolitan Museum in New York City had a blockbuster show, Desire Unbound, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris had a show called La Révolution surréaliste.

A contemporary development is known as Massurrealism.

 

Impact of Surrealism

While Surrealism is typically associated with the arts, it has been said to transcend them; Surrealism has had an impact in many other fields. In this sense, Surrealism does not specifically refer only to self-identified "Surrealists", or those sanctioned by Breton, rather, it refers to a range of creative acts of revolt and efforts to liberate imagination.

In addition to Surrealist ideas that are grounded in the ideas of Hegel, Marx and Freud, Surrealism is seen by its advocates as being inherently dynamic and as dialectical in its thought. Surrealists have also drawn on sources as seemingly diverse as Clark Ashton Smith, Montague Summers, Horace Walpole, Fantomas, The Residents, Bugs Bunny, comic strips, the obscure poet Samuel Greenberg and the hobo writer and humourist T-Bone Slim. One might say that Surrealist strands may be found in movements such as Free Jazz (Don Cherry, Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor etc.) and even in the daily lives of people in confrontation with limiting social conditions. Thought of as the effort of humanity to liberate imagination as an act of insurrection against society, Surrealism finds precedents in the alchemists, possibly Dante, Hieronymus Bosch, Marquis de Sade, Charles Fourier, Comte de Lautreamont and Arthur Rimbaud.

Surrealists believe that non-Western cultures also provide a continued source of inspiration for Surrealist activity because some may strike up a better balance between instrumental reason and imagination in flight than Western culture. Surrealism has had an identifiable impact on radical and revolutionary politics, both directly — as in some Surrealists joining or allying themselves with radical political groups, movements and parties — and indirectly — through the way in which Surrealists' emphasize the intimate link between freeing imagination and the mind, and liberation from repressive and archaic social structures. This was especially visible in the New Left of the 1960s and 1970s and the French revolt of May 1968, whose slogan "All power to the imagination" rose directly from French Surrealist thought and practice.

Many significant literary movements in the later half of the 20th century were directly or indirectly influenced by Surrealism. This period is known as the Postmodern era; though there's no widely agreed upon central definition of Postmodernism, many themes and techniques commonly identified as Postmodern are nearly identical to Surrealism. Perhaps the writers within the Postmodern era who have the most in common with Surrealism are the playwrights of Theatre of the Absurd. Though not an organized movement, these playwrights were grouped together based on some similarities of theme and technique; these similarities can perhaps be traced to influence from the Surrealists. Eugene Ionesco in particular was fond of Surrealism, claiming at one point that Breton was one of the most important thinkers in history. Samuel Beckett was also fond of Surrealists, even translating much of the poetry into English; he may have had closer ties had the Surrealists not been critical of Beckett's mentor and friend James Joyce. Many writers from and associated with the Beat Generation were influenced greatly by Surrealists. Philip Lamantia and Ted Joans are often categorized as both Beat and Surrealist writers. Many other Beat writers claimed Surrealism as a significant influence. A few examples include Bob Kaufman, Gregory Corso, and Allen Ginsberg. In popular culture much of the stream of consciousness song writing of the young Bob Dylan, c. 1960s and including some of Dylan's more recent writing as well, (c. mid - 1980s-2006) clearly have Surrealist connections and undertones. Magic Realism, a popular technique among novelists of the latter half of the 20th century especially among Latin American writers, has some obvious similarities to Surrealism with its juxtaposition of the normal and the dream-like. The prominence of Magic Realism in Latin American literature is often credited in some part to the direct influence of Surrealism on Latin American artists (Frida Kahlo, for example).

 

Surrealist artists
Dietrich Schughardt
Pavel Tchelitchew
Stanley William Hayter
Arnulf Rainer
Boris Margo
James Gleeson
Antonio Berni
Collette Calascione
Alfredo Castaneda
Tiffany Bozic
Anne Bachelier
Marcel Jean
Edward Wadsworth
Nicholas Kalmakoff
Catalina Chervin

Photographers
Claude Cahun
Bill Brandt 
Edward Weston
Clarence Laughlin
Paul Outerbridge
Rodney Smith
Maurice Tabard
Joyce Tenneson
Jerry Uelsmann
Dominic Rouse
Ralph Eugene Meatyard
Paul Cava

 



Dietrich Schughardt



Pavel Tchelitchew



Stanley William Hayter 



Arnulf Rainer



Boris Margo



James Gleeson



Antonio Berni



Collette Calascione



Alfredo Castaneda



Tiffany Bozic



Anne Bachelier



Marcel Jean



Edward Wadsworth



Nicholas Kalmakoff


Catalina Chervin



Felix de Recondo

 



Claude Cahun



Bill Brandt 



Edward Weston



Clarence Laughlin



Paul Outerbridge



Rodney Smith



Maurice Tabard



Joyce Tenneson



Jerry Uelsmann



Dominic Rouse


Ralph Eugene Meatyard

 



Paul Cava

 





Dream art


(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Dream art is any form of art directly based on material from dreams, or which employs dream-like imagery.
References to dreams in art are as old as literature itself: the story of Gilgamesh, the Bible, and the Iliad all describe dreams of major characters such as Callum and the meanings thereof. However, dreams as art, without a "real" frame story, appear to be a later development—though there is no way to know whether many premodern works were dream-based.
In European literature, the Romantic movement emphasized the value of emotion and irrational inspiration. "Visions", whether from dreams or intoxication, served as raw material and were taken to represent the artist's highest creative potential.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Symbolism and Expressionism introduced dream imagery into visual art. Expressionism was also a literary movement, and included the later work of the playwright August Strindberg, who coined the term "dream play" for a style of narrative that did not distinguish between fantasy and reality.
At the same time, discussion of dreams reached a new level of public awareness in the Western world due to the work of Sigmund Freud, who introduced the notion of the subconscious mind as a field of scientific inquiry. Freud greatly influenced the 20th-century Surrealists, who combined the visionary impulses of Romantics and Expressionists with a focus on the unconscious as a creative tool, and an assumption that apparently irrational content could contain significant meaning, perhaps more so than rational content.
The invention of film and animation brought new possibilities for vivid depiction of nonrealistic events, but films consisting entirely of dream imagery have remained an avant-garde rarity. Comic books and comic strips have explored dreams somewhat more often, starting with Winsor McCay's popular newspaper strips; the trend toward confessional works in alternative comics of the 1980s saw a proliferation of artists drawing their own dreams.
Dream material continues to be used by a wide range of contemporary artists for various purposes. This practice is considered by some to be of psychological value for the artist—independent of the artistic value of the results—as part of the discipline of "dream work".

Artists associated with Dream art include:
Jake Baddeley
 



Jake Baddeley
 

 





Visionary art



(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Visionary art
is art that purports to transcend the physical world and portray a wider vision of awareness including spiritual or mystical themes, or is based in such experiences.

Both trained and self-taught (or outsider) artists have, and continue to create visionary works. Many visionary artists are actively engaged in spiritual practices, and some have drawn inspiration from psychedelic drug experiences.

Walter Schurian, professor at the University of Munster, is quick to point out the difficulties in describing visionary art as if it were a discrete genre, since "it is difficult to know where to start and where to stop. Recognized trends have all had their fantastic component, so demarcation is apt to be fuzzy."

Despite this ambiguity, there does seem to be emerging some definition to what constitutes the contemporary visionary art 'scene' and which artists can be considered especially influential. Contemporary visionary artists count Hieronymous Bosch, William Blake, Morris Graves (of the Pacific Northwest School of Visionary Art), Emil Bisttram, and Gustave Moreau amongst their antecedents. Symbolism, Surrealism and Psychedelic art are also direct precursors to contemporary visionary art.

The Vienna School of Fantastic Realism, which includes Ernst Fuchs and Arik Brauer, is also to be considered an important technical and philosophical catalyst in its strong influence upon the contemporary visionary culture.
 

 Important networks and organisations

During the 20th century, two notable groups organized to champion the mission of visionary art. The Northwest School of Visionary Art, with famous artists Morris Graves, and Mark Tobey, as well as the Transcendental Painting Group (TPG), a collective of 10 painters, such as Raymond Jonson, Emil Bittstram, Florence Pierce, and Ed Garman.

Several institutions have recently developed to represent visionary art, including the Society of Layerists in MultiMedia (SLMM) founded by Mary Carroll Nelson, the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors founded by Allyson and Alex Grey in New York City, The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland, and the in-progress Paradiso project in Vienna are notable examples.

On the internet, the Society for the Art of Imagination, founded by Brigid Marlin serves as an important portal for visionary art events.

Laurence Caruana's Paris-based The Visionary Revue brings attention to lesser-known visionary artists and analyses aspects of visionary art from an erudite scholarly perspective.
 

Artists associated with Visionary Art include:
Remedios Varo
A. Andrew Gonzalez

Antonio Roybal
De Es Schwertberger
Robert Venosa
Vincent  Castiglia
Amanda Sage
Alex Grey


 



Remedios Varo



A. Andrew Gonzalez



Antonio Roybal



De Es Schwertberger



Robert Venosa



Vincent  Castiglia



Amanda Sage



Alex Grey

 





Neo-Surrealism



(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Neosurrealism or Neo-Surrealism is an artistic genre that illustrates the complex imagery of dream or subconscious visions and irrational space and form combinations.
The term has been given to the reappearance of well-known surrealism movement in the late 1970s. Initially, the movement focused on relating surrealism with pop-art, but lately modern artists have been exploring extra directions similar to fantastic, visionary, and fantasy art within the present genre. Neosurrealism frequently called "modern surrealism" due to a noticeable visual resemblance of these two genres. However, the main distinction between them is that Neosurrealism does not imply the original surrealist idea of a freedom from rational control or psychic automatism declared by André Breton, in his “Manifeste du surréalisme” .
Any art movement is defined as a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a restricted period of time. This definition may be applied to Neosurrealism but it does not have a particular founder or group. The movement is still not clearly defined, but it develops rapidly adding more professional and amateur art enthusiasts every day. As it was suggested above, the field of neosurrealism is a highly intricate and fiercely contested one, and there is no universal consensus on precisely what constitutes neosurrealism. The name itself remains very unstable, shifting in meaning according to who uses it, when, where, and in what context. Whether or not this merely multiplies problems of definition is a debatable point, but it certainly reflects the dynamically conflicted, constantly developing, and heterogeneous nature of the movement itself. Neosurrealism and Realism in art are visual dramas diametrically opposite in intent. Neosurrealism expresses interior poetic states of being, envisaged in irrational space and form. Realism, illuminated by objectivity and directed by rational representation, appeals to recognizable truth.

Visual arts

Neosurrealism is a combined imagery of dreams, fantasies, and subconscious mind visions in fine art painting, digital art graphic, and photography. In the mid 1980s, modern computer technologies brought tons of additional depicting power to contemporary artists. The arrival of desktop publishing and the introduction of software applications introduced a generation of artists to computer image manipulation and 3D image creation that had previously been unachievable. There are thousands of artists, digital and traditional fine art media, who create neo-surrealistic, surreal fantasy, and fantasy realism artworks comparable to Neosurrealism.

Artists associated with Neo-surrealism include:
George Grie
Mirko Sevic

 



George Grie



Mirko Sevic

 





Magic realism


(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Magic realism (or magical realism) is an artistic genre in which magical elements appear in an otherwise realistic setting. As used today the term is broadly descriptive rather than critically rigorous. The term was initially used by German art critic Franz Roh to describe painting which demonstrated an altered reality, but was later used by Venezuelan Arturo Uslar-Pietri to describe the work of certain Latin American writers. The Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier (a friend of Uslar-Pietri) used the term "lo real maravilloso" (roughly "marvelous reality") in the prologue to his novel The Kingdom of this World (1949). Carpentier's conception was of a kind of heightened reality in which elements of the miraculous could appear while seeming natural and unforced. Carpentier's work was a key influence on the writers of the Latin American "boom" that emerged in the 1960s.

The term magic realism was first used by the German art critic Franz Roh to refer to a painterly style also known as Neue Sachlichkeit. It was later used to describe the unusual realism by American painters such as Ivan Albright, Paul Cadmus, George Tooker and other artists during the 1940s and 1950s. It should be noted though that unlike the term's use in literature, in art it is describing paintings that do not include anything fantastic or magical, but are rather extremely realistic and often mundane.

The term was first revived and applied to the realm of fiction as a combination of the fantastic and the realistic in the 1960s by a Venezuelan essayist and critic Arturo Uslar-Pietri, who applied it to a very specific South American genre, influenced by the blend of realism and fantasy in Mário de Andrade's influential 1928 novel Macunaíma. However, the term itself came in vogue only after Nobel prize winner Miguel Ángel Asturias used the expression to define the style of his novels. The term gained popularity with the rise of such authors as Mikhail Bulgakov, Ernst Junger and Salman Rushdie and many Latin American writers, most notably Jorge Luis Borges, Isabel Allende, Juan Rulfo, Dias Gomes and Gabriel García Márquez, who confessed, "My most important problem was destroying the lines of demarcation that separates what seems real from what seems fantastic." Mexican author Laura Esquivel also wrote in this vein when she penned Like Water for Chocolate. The most widely read of the South American magical realism narratives is García Márquez's novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.
 

With Friends: Six Magic Realists, 1940–1965

The Chasen Museum of Art, formely the Elvehjem is currently showing the exhibition With Friends: Six Magic Realists, 1940–1965 which will be on display until September 18, 2005. The exhibition will focus on the art and friendships of the American artists Gertrude Abercrombie (1909–1977), Sylvia Fein (b. 1919; University of Wisconsin BS, 1942), Marshall Glasier (1902 –1988), Dudley Huppler (1917–1988; University of Wisconsin BS and MS, 1939), Karl Priebe (1914–1976), and John Wilde (b. 1919; University of Wisconsin BS, 1942, MS, 1948). The show will include 104 works of art (15-20 objects by each artist) dating between 1940 and 1965. A selection of archival material—sketchbooks, postcards with original drawings, letters, photographs, and scrapbooks—will also be included. The exhibition, which will be the first intensive study of this close-knit group, will explore the artistic and personal relationships they shared. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue will provide insight into a figurative branch of postwar American modernism that has been often neglected in favor of abstract expressionism. The exhibition is being organized for the Elvehjem Museum of Art by guest curator Robert Cozzolino.
 

 

Magic Realism

Style of painting popular in Europe and the USA mainly from the 1920s to 1940s, with some followers in the 1950s. It occupies a position between Surrealism and Photorealism, whereby the subject is rendered with a photographic naturalism, but where the use of flat tones, ambiguous perspectives and strange juxtapositions suggest an imagined or dreamed reality. The term was introduced by art historian Frank Roh in his book Nach-Expressionismus: Magischer Realismus (1925) to describe a style deriving from Neue Sachlichkeit, but rooted in late 19th-century German Romantic fantasy. It had strong connections with the Italian
Pittura Metafisica of which the work of Giorgio de Chirico was exemplary in its quest to express the mysterious. The work of Giuseppe Capogrossi and the Scuola Romana of the 1930s is also closely related to the visionary elements of Magic Realism. In Belgium its surreal strand was exemplified by René Magritte, with his ‘fantasies of the commonplace’, and in the USA by Peter Blume, as in South of Scranton (1930–31; New York, Met.). Later artists associated with Magic Realism include the American George Tooker (b 1920), whose best-known work Subway (1950; New York, Whitney) captures the alienation of strangers gathered in public, and the German Christian Schad, who also used the style in the 1950s. The later use of the term for types of non-Western, particularly Latin American fiction was not connected with the artistic application.

Magic realism is a style of visual art which brings extreme realism to the depiction of mundane subject matter.

In painting, magical realism is a term often used interchangeably with post-expressionism. In 1925, art critic Franz Roh used this term to describe painting which signaled a return to realism after expressionism's extravagances which sought to redesign objects to reveal the spirits of those objects. Magical realism, according to Roh, instead faithfully portrays the exterior of an object, and in doing so the spirit, or magic, of the object reveals itself.
 

Artists associated with Magic Realism include:
Heather Nevay
John Wilde
Charles Becker
Brad Noble
George Tooker

Rob Gonsalves
Michael Parkes
Paul Cadmus
Ivan Albright
Jared French
Peter Blume
Wes Wilson
Mati Klarwein

 



Heather Nevay


John Wilde


Charles Becker


Brad Noble


George Tooker


Rob Gonsalves


Michael Parkes


Paul Cadmus


Ivan Albright


Jared French


Peter Blume


Will Wilson



Mati Klarwein

 





Psychedelic art


(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
 

Psychedelic art is art inspired by the psychedelic experience induced by drugs such as LSD, Mescaline, and Psilocybin. The word "psychedelic" (coined by British psychologist Humphrey Osmond) means "mind manifesting". By that definition all artistic efforts to depict the inner world of the psyche may be considered "psychedelic". However, in common parlance "Psychedelic Art" refers above all to the art movement of the 1960s counterculture. Psychedelic visual arts were a counterpart to psychedelic rock music. Concert posters, album covers, lightshows, murals, comic books, underground newspapers and more reflected not only the kaleidoscopically swirling patterns of LSD hallucinations, but also revolutionary political, social and spiritual sentiments inspired by insights derived from these psychedelic states of consciousness.

Psychedelic Art is informed by the notion that altered states of consciousness produced by psychedelic drugs are a source of artistic inspiration. The psychedelic art movement is similar to the surrealist movement in that it prescribes a mechanism for obtaining inspiration. Whereas the mechanism for surrealism is the observance of dreams, the psychedelic artist turns to his drug induced hallucinations. Both movements have strong ties to important developments in science. Whereas the surrealist was fascinated by Freud's theory of the unconscious, the psychedelic artist has been literally "turned on" by Albert Hofmann's discovery of LSD.

The early examples of "Psychedelic Art" are literary rather than visual. It should also be noted that these came from writers involved in the Surrealist movement. Antonin Artaud writes of his Peyote experience in "Journey to the Land of the Tarahumara" (1937). Henri Michaux wrote "Miserable Miracle" (1956), to describe his experiments with Mescaline and also hashish.

Aldous Huxley's "The Doors of Perception" (1954), and "Heaven and Hell" (1956), remain definitive statements on the psychedelic experience.

Albert Hofmann and his colleagues at Sandoz Laboratories were convinced immediately after its discovery in 1943 of the power and promise of LSD. For two decades following its discovery LSD was marketed by Sandoz as an important drug for psychological and neurological research. Hofmann saw the drug's potential for poets and artists as well, and took great interest in the German poet, Ernst Junger's psychedelic experiments.

Early artistic experimentation with LSD was conducted in a clinical context by Los Angeles based psychiatrist Oscar Janiger. Janiger asked a group of 50 different artists to each do a painting from life of a subject of the artist's choosing. They were subsequently asked to do the same painting while under the influence of LSD. The two paintings were compared by Janiger and also the artist. The artists almost unanimously reported LSD to be an enhancement to their creativity.

Ultimately it seems that psychedelics would be most warmly embraced by the American counterculture. Beatnik poets Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs became fascinated by psychedelic drugs as early as the 1950s as evidenced by "The Yage Letters" (1963). The Beatniks recognized the role of psychedelics as sacred inebriants in Native American religious ritual, and also had an understanding of the philosophy of the surrealist and symbolist poets who called for a "complete disorientation of the senses" (to paraphrase Arthur Rimbaud). They knew that altered states of consciousness played a role in Eastern Mysticism. They were hip to psychedelics as psychiatric medicine. LSD was the perfect catalyst to electrify the eclectic mix of ideas assembled by the Beats into a cathartic, mass-distributed panacea for the soul of the succeeding generation.
 

Psychedelic Art in 1960s Counterculture
 

Leading proponents of the 1960s Psychedelic Art movement were San Francisco poster artists such as: Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse & Alton Kelley, and Wes Wilson. Their Psychedelic Rock concert posters were inspired by Art Nouveau, Victoriana, Dada, and Pop Art. Richly saturated colors in glaring contrast, elaborately ornate lettering, strongly symmetrical composition, collage elements, and bizarre iconography are all hallmarks of the San Francisco psychedelic poster art style. The style flourished from about 1966 - 1972. Their work was immediately influential to album cover art, and indeed all of the aforementioned artists also created album covers.

Although San Francisco remained the hub of psychedelic art into the early 1970s, the style also developed internationally: Majorca based painter Mati Klarwein created psychedelic masterpieces for Miles Davis' Jazz-Rock fusion albums, and also for Carlos Santana Latin Rock. Pink Floyd worked extensively with London based designers, Hipgnosis to create graphics to support the concepts in their albums.

Psychedelic light-shows were a new art-form developed for rock concerts. Using oil and dye in an emulsion that was set between large convex lenses upon overhead projectors the lightshow artists created bubbling liquid visuals that pulsed in rhythm to the music. This was mixed with slideshows and film loops to create an improvisational motion picture art form to give visual representation to the improvisational jams of the rock bands and create a completely "trippy" atmosphere for the audience. The Brotherhood of Light were responsible for many of the light-shows in San Francisco psychedelic rock concerts.

Out of the psychedelic counterculture also arose a new genre of comic books: underground comix. "Zap Comix" was among the original underground comics, and featured the work of Robert Crumb, S. Clay Wilson, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, and Robert Williams among others. Underground Comix were ribald, intensely satirical, and seemed to pursue weirdness for the sake of weirdness. Gilbert Shelton created perhaps the most enduring of underground cartoon characters, "The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers," whose drugged out exploits held a hilarious mirror up to the hippy lifestyle of the 1960s.

Psychedelic art was also applied to the LSD itself. LSD began to be put on blotter paper in the early 1970s and this gave rise to a specialized art form of decorating the blotter paper. Often the blotter paper was decorated with tiny insignia on each perforated square tab, but by the 1990s this had progressed to complete four color designs often involving an entire page of 900 or more tabs. Mark McCloud is a recognized authority on the history of LSD blotter art.

The fact that LSD blotter art kept evolving over decades shows that the Psychedelic Art movement did not end with the '60s, and if considered more deeply it did not begin in that decade either. The use of drugs by artists is nothing new - the Roman poet Ovid said, "There is no poetry among water drinkers." However, since drugs have always been taboo, the drug use of artists has not always entered the historical record. It was part of the youth rebellion of the 1960s to openly use drugs, but the psychedelic drugs were also seen in a different light from more traditional inebriants such as opiates, cocaine and alcohol. LSD was a new invention that had shown wondrous promise as a psychiatric medicine. It is beyond the scope of this article to describe LSD research and its various results, but importantly to the counterculture movement of the 1960s it had been strongly associated with creativity and had been promoted as a gateway to mystical experience. These aspects drew artists and intellectuals to experiment with LSD and other psychedelic drugs.

Psychedelic Art in Corporate Advertising
 

By the late 1960s, the commercial potential of psychedelic art had become hard to ignore. General Electric, for instance, promoted clocks with designs by New York artist Peter Max. A caption explains that each of Max’s clocks “transposes time into multi-fantasy colors.”In this and many other corporate advertisements of the late 1960’s featuring psychedelic themes, the psychedelic product was often kept at arm’s length from the corporate image: while advertisements may have reflected the swirls and colors of an LSD trip, the black-and-white company logo maintained a healthy visual distance. Several companies, however, more explicitly associated themselves with psychedelica: CBS, Neiman Marcus, and NBC all featured thoroughly psychedelic advertisements between 1968 and 1969. In 1968, Campbell’s soup ran a poster promotion that promised to “Turn your wall souper-delic!”

The early years of the 1970s saw advertisers using psychedelic art to sell a limitless array of consumer goods. Hair products, cars, cigarettes, and even pantyhose became colorful acts of pseudo-rebellion.The Chelsea National Bank commissioned a psychedelic landscape by Peter Max, and neon green, pink, and blue monkeys inhabited advertisements for a zoo.[ A fantasy land of colorful, swirling, psychedelic bubbles provided the perfect backdrop for a Clearasil ad. As Brian Wells explains, “The psychedelic movement has, through the work of artists, designers, and writers, achieved an astonishing degree of cultural diffusion… but, though a great deal of diffusion has taken place, so, too, has a great deal of dilution and distortion. ”Even the term “psychedelic” itself underwent a semantic shift, and soon came to mean “anything in youth culture which is colorful, or unusual, or fashionable.” Puns using the concept of “tripping” abounded: as an advertisement for London Britches declared, their product was “great on trips!” By the mid-1970’s, the psychedelic art movement had been largely co-opted by mainstream commercial forces, incorporated into the very system of capitalism that the hippies had struggled so hard to change.

Psychedelic Art and the Digital Age
 

Computer Arts have allowed for an even greater and more profuse expression of psychedelic vision. Fractal generating software gives an accurate depiction of psychedelic hallucinatory patterns, but even more importantly 2D and 3D graphics software allow for unparalleled freedom of image manipulation. Much of the graphics software seems to enable a direct translation of the psychedelic vision. The "digital revolution" was indeed heralded early on as the "New LSD" by none other than Timothy Leary.

The Rave movement of the 1990s was a psychedelic renaissance fueled by the advent of newly available digital technologies. The rave movement developed a new graphic art style partially influenced by 1960s psychedelic poster art, but also strongly influenced by graffiti art, and by 1970s advertising art, yet clearly defined by what computer graphics software and home computers had to offer at the time of creation.

Concurrent to the rave movement, and in key respects integral to it, are the development of new mind altering drugs, most notably, MDMA (Ecstasy). Ecstasy, like LSD, has had a tangible influence on culture and aesthetics, particularly the aesthetics of Rave Culture. But MDMA is (arguably) not a real psychedelic, but is described by psychologists as an "empathogen". Development of new psychedelics such as "2CB" and related compounds (developed primarily by chemist Alexander Shulgin) are truly psychedelic, and these novel psychedelics are fertile ground for artistic exploration since many of the new psychedelics possess their own unique properties that will affect the artist's vision accordingly.

Perhaps the future of psychedelic art will be defined by those artists who have practiced it most purely. That is to say by those artists who have sought to record the visions derived from the psychedelic drug experience into works of art. Even as fashions have changed, and art and culture movements have come and gone certain artists have steadfastly devoted themselves to psychedelia. Well known examples are Alex Grey and Robert Venosa. These artists have developed unique and distinct styles that while containing elements that are obviously "psychedelic", are clearly artistic expression that transcend simple categorization. While it is not necessary to use psychedelics to arrive at such a stage of artistic development, serious psychedelic artists are demonstrating that there is tangible technique to obtaining visions, and that technique is the creative use of psychedelic drugs.

Artists associated with Psychedelic Art include:

M.C. Escher
H. R. Giger

 



M.C. Escher



H. R. Giger





Fantastic realism


(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The Vienna School of Fantastic Realism is a group of artists founded in Vienna in 1946. It includes Ernst Fuchs, Arik Brauer, Rudolf Hausner, Wolfgang Hutter, Anton Lehmden and Fritz Janschka, all students of Professor Albert Paris Gutersloh at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. It was Gutersloh's emphasis on the techniques of the Old Masters that gave the Fantastic Realist painters a grounding in realism (expressed with a clarity and detail some have compared to early Flemish painting) combined with religious and esoteric symbolism.

Artists associated with Fantastic Realism include:

Rudolf Hausner
Ernst Fuchs
Brigid Marlin
Hugues Gillet
Victor Safonkin
Aric Brauer
Wolfgang Hutter
Bruno di Majo
Jacek Yerka
Odd Nerdrum

 



Rudolf Hausner



Ernst Fuchs



Brigid Marlin



Hugues Gillet


Aric Brauer


Victor Safonkin


Wolfgang Hutter



Bruno di Majo



Jacek Yerka



Odd Nerdrum

 





Fantastic art


(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Fantastic art is a loosely defined art genre. The first "fantastic" artist is generally believed to be Hieronymus Bosch.

Other artists who have been labeled fantastic include Brueghel, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Matthias Grünewald, Hans Baldung Grien, Francisco de Goya, Gustave Moreau, Max Magnus Norman, Henry Fuseli, Odilon Redon, Max Klinger, Arnold Bocklin, William Blake, Gustave Doré, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Salvador Dalí, Arik Brauer, Johfra, Odd Nerdrum, and Mati Klarwein.

Fantasy has been an integral part of art since its beginnings, but has been particularly important in mannerism, romantic art, symbolism and surrealism. fantastic art celebrates fantasy, imagination, dreamworlds, the grotesque, visions and other-worldliness. With symbolism, it shares its choice of themes such as mythology, occultism and mysticism.

In French, the genre is called le fantastique, in English it is sometimes referred to as visionary art, grotesque art or mannerist art.

Fantastic art should not be confused with fantasy art, which is the domain of science-fiction and fantasy illustrators such as Boris Vallejo and others:
Ernst Fuchs ,De Es Schwertberger ,H.R. Giger ,Peter Gric ,Robert Venosa ,Gio' Myart ,Judson Huss ,Jacek Yerka ,Von Stropp ,Damian Michaels ,Zdzislaw Beksinski ,Antonio Roybal ,Lukasz Banach ,Sean Hopp ,Peter Proksch ,Jorgen Mahler Elbang Michèle Vincent ,Anne Sudworth

 

Artists associated with Fantastic Art include:

Zdzislaw Beksinski
David Bowers
Frank Kortan
Siegfried Zademack

Michael Fuchs
Jaroslaw Kukowski
Chris Mars
David Ho
Eli Tiunine
Joshifumi Hayahi
Jito
Katharina Kranichfeld
Michael Bergt
Edward Black Kim
Istvan Sandorfi
 



Zdzislaw Beksinski


David Bowers


Frank Kortan


Siegfried Zademack


Michael Fuchs


Jaroslaw Kukowski


Chris Mars


David Ho


Eli Tiunine



Michael Bergt

 



Edward Black Kim

 



Istvan Sandorfi

 


Fantasy art


(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Fantasy art
is a genre of art that depicts magical or other supernatural themes, ideas, creatures or settings. While there is some overlap with science fiction, horror and other speculative fiction art, there are unique elements not generally found in other forms of speculative fiction art. Depictions of ancient myths and legends, as well as depictions of modern day fantasy in the form of divine interventions and other magical or supernatural forces, are very common elements, and help distinguish fantasy art from other forms. Dragons, wizards, fairies and other fantastical and mythical creatures are common features in fantasy art.

Fantasy art is strongly linked to fantasy fiction. Indeed fantasy art pieces are often intended to represent specific characters or scenes from works of fantasy literature. Such works created by amateur artists may be called fanart.

There is a large subculture based around the creation of amateur fantasy art. This is largely centred around websites such as Elf wood. Such sites are noticeably less male-dominated than some other pursuits related to the fantasy genre.

Fantasy art should not be confused with the fantastic art genre, which can contain fantastical elements that are not always considered "fantasy" per se.

 

Fantasy Art and High Culture

Despite the technical skill of many of its practitioners, and despite (or arguably because of) its popularity, Fantasy art is not considered part of the 'canon', or 'fine art', in the sense that it is not hung in galleries, subsidised by governments, studied in art schools etc.

A few works which are 'canonical', particularly surrealist or pre-Raphaelite works, have many characteristics in common with fantasy art. For example The Castle in the Pyrenees by Rene Magritte, and The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse, would almost certainly be accepted as fantasy art if they had been created recently by an artist who presented them as such. As with much fantasy art, the latter illustrates a scene from another work. Other modern fantasy artists use the Art Nouveau Movement and other high culture art movements with the contention that fantasy or faerie art should be critically evaluated and noticed by academic institutions. Finucane defines his art stylistics as "Neo-Medieval", rather than using the escapist terminology of "fantasy art" to define his work. Historical standards of what is high art or what is not high art was a common problem for now famous artists like the Glasgow School, who were also unfairly defined as inferior artists in their time.

Nonetheless these works are accorded the status of fine art, and not considered to be connected to fantasy art. The situation could arguably be compared to the way in which certain critically-esteemed works may be treated as if they had no connection to non-'literary' genres, for example Nineteen Eighty-Four and science fiction.
 

see collection: Fantasy Art

 


   

Discuss Art

Please note: site admin does not answer any questions. This is our readers discussion only.

 
| privacy