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The Kid Should See This

What is Surrealism?

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Surrealism, an art movement originating in the 1920s by French writer André Breton, delves into the realms of dreams, fantasies, and subconscious thoughts. Led by artists like Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, and Dorothea Tanning, surrealism manifests in two main types:

• Dream-inspired art, characterized by unexpected combinations akin to Dalí’s surrealistic works.

• Automatism, where art is created without conscious thought, exemplified by Jean Miró, Leonora Carrington, and Max Ernst.

Surrealist-based art exhibitions of the era received rubbish reviews, but those initial perspectives didn’t last; surrealism’s influence on modern culture is evident in advertisements, video games, and movies—”anything that tries to break free of plain old reality with a little wildness weirdness and joy.”

surrealism today

• Draw a surrealist creature, a Tate Modern activity.
• Create a surreal story, a Tate Modern activity.

Watch more art history videos from Tate Modern:
• What is Cubism?
• What is Impressionism?
How did Paula Rego decide to become an artist?
• How did Yinka Shonibare become an artist?

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