Surrealism was an avant-garde artistic movement that emerged in Paris in the early twentieth century to counteract the rationalism and materialism of eastern society. There are many surrealism art characteristics. Among the most outstanding “Characteristics of Surrealism” are:

1. Free expression of thought


The main motto of surrealism was the free expression of thought, governed only by the impulses of the subconscious. He despised logic and was against the standards set by the order and morals of society at the time.

His works were not restricted to plastic arts and literature alone. He also influenced artistic manifestations such as theater and cinema.

2. Influence of Freud’s Theories

The main feature of the surrealist movement is the significant influence of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theories, which value the importance of the unconscious in boosting human creativity.

For Freud, man must free his mind of the logic imposed by the behavioral patterns of society and give vent to dreams and all that the unconscious tells us.

Learn more about psychoanalysis.

3. Superior Reality

Another important feature of surrealism is the creation of a reality superior to the reality imposed by the bourgeois society of the time, as if this reality were above realism.

The main purpose of surrealism was to push the boundaries of imagination and logical tradition imposed by the artistic ideas that had been in place since the Renaissance.

Learn more about the Renaissance.

4. Appreciation of the unconscious and dreams

 Memory persistence
Memory persistence

Another important point of surrealism was the appreciation of fantasy, madness and the automatic reaction reflected in his works. Many artists were driven only by the impulse, recording only what came to mind.

5. Use of abstract elements

Surrealist works were characterized by abstract elements and shapes that were based on fantasy and the dimension of the imaginary.

Artists always sought perfection between drawings and colors within the imaginary universe, using features such as optical illusions and dissociation between images and subtitles.

See more about Surrealism and Vanguard.

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