Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Dr. Jack Estes


When the topic Surrealism is introduced to the average conversation, the general knowledge concerning it is that Dali is supposedly the main Surrealist, and that the Surrealists painted nonsensical make-believe canvases. But the weird world of Surrealistic art goes much deeper than this, and its roots are far more attached to the importance of man's existence. The movement of Surrealism, though somewhat short-lived, was one of tremendous fervor and power. The men who developed it had an entirely new insight toward not just painting pictures, but toward building a new philosophy of life.

Two of the main characteristics of Surrealism are that the artist (1) gets his ideas from dreams of the subconscious, (2) organizes his paintings into designs without conscious control. The poet and dramatist, Guillaume Apollinaire, was the first to use the term surrealist. He said that it was a way of capturing the essence of reality, not by copying nature, but by expressing it in ways that make the work of art more real than reality--super-real, sur-real. So Surrealism is more than a technique of painting. It is an attitude of the mind, a way of life, a way of looking at the world.

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