Nue Couchée by Dorothea Tanning Nue Couchée1969-70SculptureCotton textile, cardboard, 7 table tennis balls, wool and threadTate, London, UK A sculptural piece, Nue Couchée introduces Tanning’s weighty, contorted, and headless figures. The work stands in defiant subversion to the languid reclining female sitter of classical painting, confronting outdated fantasy projections of the female body by presenting … Continue reading Nue Couchée by Dorothea Tanning
Birthday by Dorothea Tanning Birthday1942SurrealismOil on canvasPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania, USA A seminal work for Tanning, ‘Birthday’ saw her noticed by artists such as Max Ernst, and placed her strong individuality on the artistic map whilst introducing the motifs that would recur throughout her career. Painting herself in the foreground of a room that … Continue reading Birthday by Dorothea Tanning
Pére Ubu by Dora Maar Père Ubu1936SurrealismGelatin silver printMetropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA One of the most iconic photographs of the Surrealist movement, Père Ubu attained fame after its inclusion at the London International Surrealist Exhibition. It is a somewhat bizarre and disquieting figure taking up the entire plane of the picture. An … Continue reading Père Ubu by Dora Maar
Nude Descending A Staircase by Marcel Duchamp Nude Descending A Staircase1912SurrealismOil on canvasPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Collection of Louise and Walter Arenberg, USA The painting met with an unfavourable response at the Salon des Indépendants, dominated by Cubist avant-garde who objected to its Futurist leanings. However, it enjoyed a succes de scandale at the Armory … Continue reading Nude Descending a Staircase by Marcel Duchamp
Noyer Indifférent by Yves Tanguy Noyer Indifférent1929SurrealismOil on canvasPrivately owned The provenance of Noyer Indifférent exemplifies the reciprocal play between Surrealism and psychoanalysis. Freud’s protégé, Carl Jung, an important influence on the Surrealists, purchased the work in 1929, when Tanguy was barely known. Jung described the painting as an archetypal sign of the heavens connecting … Continue reading Noyer Indifférent by Yves Tanguy
La Joconde aux Cles by Fernand Léger La Joconde aux Cles (Mona Lisa with Keys)1930SurrealismOil on canvasMusée National Fernand Léger, Biot, France One of Lèger’s most experimental canvases, La Jaconde aux Cles is one of the few in which the influence of Surrealism is revealed. Without support, the depicted objects float in space as in … Continue reading La Joconde aux Cles (Mona Lisa with Keys) by Fernand Léger
I Saw Three Cities1944SurrealismOil on canvasPrinceton University Art Museum, New Jersey, USA A desolate, geometric landscape dominated by a tail, cloaked guardian in the foreground. The human figure is composed of a central pole and swirling drapery. Fluid and animated drapery gives a feeling of movement and wind blowing through the fabric made figure contrasting … Continue reading I Saw Three Cities by Kay Sage
Paysage by Dora Maar Paysage1957SurrealismOil on canvasUnknown Maar turned to paining as an exclusive media after Picasso encouraged her to give up photography. Even after their relationship ended she continued to [paint preferring still-life landscape, with the latter becoming more and more abstract. By the time Maar was painting landscapes such as ‘Paysage’ she had … Continue reading Paysage by Dora Maar
Henry Ford Hospital1932SurrealismOil on canvasDolores Olmedo Collection, Mexico City, Mexico Many of Kahlo’s paintings from the early 1930s relate to religious ex-voto paintings of which she and Rivera possessed a large collection ranging over several centuries. Ex-votos paintings are a gesture of gratitude for salvation, a granted prayer or an averted disaster and are left … Continue reading Henry Ford Hospital by Frida Kahlo
Artist: Frida Kahlo Born: 6 July 1907, Mexico City, Mexico Nationality: Mexican Movement: Naïve art, Modern art, Surrealism, Magical Realism, Symbolism, Naturalism, Primitivism, Social realism, Cubism Died: 13 July 1954, Mexico City, Mexico...
Nightview, New York1932SurrealismGelatin silver printCollection of Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, USA In this 1932 photograph by Abbott the white lights in the buildings and headlights of cars contrast starkly with the solid structures of the buildings that dominate the city. Abbot captured New York at night as a representation of the … Continue reading Nightview, New York by Berenice Abbott
Mama, Papa is Wounded!1927SurrealismOil on CanvasMuseum of Modern Art, New York, USA The vast space, pale palette, and dark shadows cast by airborne objects in the eerie light evoke a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Typical of the correlation between words and images in Surrealism, the title does nothing to clarify the meaning of the work, in fact … Continue reading Mama, Papa is Wounded! By Yves Tanguy
After the Rain1933SurrealismPhotograph Maar travelled to various places in Europe ii the early 1930s working as a photojournalist, and she also began taking her own pictures. Her focus on street scenes and glimpses of isolated city life, these works are melancholic and quietly piquant. ‘After the Rain’ depicts a mother and child walking along a … Continue reading After the Rain by Dora Maar
A relatively early work by Tanning, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is painted with figurative perfection and a looseness to Surrealists themes. Inspired by the Mozart’s composition of the same title the setting is a hallway of a large house or a hotel. The painting is a dreamy image of two young girls, one who has found a giant sunflower and the other with eyes closed holding one of the petals. Three doors are firmly closed whilst one is cracked to reveal a bright light...
Art permeates through Tanning’s life; not only has her work become worthwhile art, her presence transformed photographs to make them more artistic. The spirals of energy that followed her as a person is also found in her brushstrokes. Her work evolved into abstraction and sculpture. The fold lines of fabric, linking the different phases, as cloth transforms depiction to media. In later years, she emerged as poet...
Sage was a Surrealist artist and poet. She was a member of the Golden Age and Post-War periods of surrealism. Sage is best known for her artistic works of an architectural nature...
An early work by Sage when she was experimenting with styles and geometric abstractions...
Artist: Salvador Domingo Felipe Dali i Domènch Born: 11 May 1904, Figueres, Spain Nationality: Spanish Movement: Surrealism Died: 23 January 1989, Figueres, Spain
Harlequin’s Carnival by Joan Mirό, 1924/5 oil on canvas. Currently housed by the Albright-Knox Collection, New York, USA
Surrealism is the channelling of the sub-conscious that unlocks the power of the imagination. It is the belief that the conscious, rational mind represses the power of imagination and creativity with perceived reality and the taboos of society. The psyche within sub-conscious thought acts as a revelation, exposing the incongruities of everyday living, life and the world around us, and by doing so inspires conscious revolution. As with Romanticism this emphasis was on the power of personal imagination, but Surrealists believed that revelation could be found in the everyday world. The interest in primitivism and myth combined with tapping into the unconscious mind inspired many later movements and styles that remain influential today.
Title: Bird Romance Date: 1946 Movement: Surrealism Artist: JWG (Jock) MacDonald Born: 31 March 1897, Thurso, Scotland Canadian Died: 3 December 1960, Toronto, Canada