Friday, August 8, 2014

Surrealism (pt. 7)

Surrealism is an art style in which dreams, fantasy, and the subconscious serve as inspirations for art.  As a form of Expressionism, this art still presents abstract subjects but does so through identifiable objects, instead of broader, Non-Objective Art, like that of Kandinsky.  The Surrealist movement took inspiration from Dada art and began to manifest itself around the late 1920s.  Through the onset of World War II and even continuing after 1945, artists took to rejecting logic and chose to paint the world of dreams and the subconscious.
Among the first to introduce this new style was the Spanish painter Joan Miró.  His early work demonstrated a crossing over from Non-Objective Art into Surrealist art.  In this 1925 painting of his, the Carnival of Harlequin, unidentified shapes fill the canvas with bizarre energy and utterly incomprehensible thematic content.
The subjects are unidentifiable, but not so unidentifiable as Kandinsky's Sky Blue.  Musical notes, a window, various animal-like creatures, and a gloved hand can be discerned within the scene, among other things.  Mostly these things look similar or vaguely reminiscent to something within reality but are so distorted and falsely pigmented that we can't tell what they are.  There would seem to be a ladder on the far left, stretching back toward the wall in the background, but it's not completely right and doesn't look like a real ladder.  Spheres appear in the scene, but we do not know what they represent.  We can almost get a sense of what we're looking at, but it's still distinct from reality.  This would later develop fully into the quality of the Surreal, which takes from reality (not like Abstract Art, which is pure blankness of subject matter) and merely distorts it into abstraction of connection or logic.

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