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Surrealism, Biomorphic Abstraction, The Harlem Renaissance..
Slide Set 26
25
Art History
05/08/2011

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Term
Automatism
Definition
Automatism has taken on many forms: the automatic writing and drawing initially (and still to this day) practiced by surrealists can be compared to similar, or perhaps parallel phenomena, such as the non-idiomatic improvisation of free jazz.
Surrealist automatism is different from mediumistic automatism, from which the term was inspired. Ghosts, spirits or the like are not purported to be the source of surrealist automatic messages.

Term
Frottage
Definition
In art, frottage (from French frotter, "to rub") is a surrealist and "automatic" method of creative production developed by Max Ernst.
In frottage the artist takes a pencil or other drawing tool and makes a "rubbing" over a textured surface. The drawing can be left as is or used as the basis for further refinement. While superficially similar to brass rubbing and other forms of rubbing intended to reproduce an existing subject, and in fact sometimes being used as an alternate term for it, frottage differs in being aleatoric and random in nature.
It was developed by Ernst in 1925. Ernst was inspired by an ancient wooden floor where the grain of the planks had been accentuated by many years of scrubbing. The patterns of the graining suggested strange images to him. He captured these by laying sheets of paper on the floor and then rubbing over them with a soft pencil.
Term
Grattage
Definition
Grattage is a surrealist technique in painting in which (usually dry) paint is scraped off the canvas. It was employed by Max Ernst and Joan MirĂ³.
Term
Biomorphic
Definition
Biomorphism is an art movement that began in the 20th century. It attempts to morph artistic design elements into naturally occurring shapes, or patterns reminisent of nature. Taken to its extreme it attempts to force naturally occurring shapes onto functional devices, often with mixed results.
Term
Surrealism
Definition
The Surrealist movement was formally launched by Andre Breton in 1924 with the publication of his Surrealist Manifesto.

Surrealist argued that we see only a surface reality. More important was uncovering the reality, which, as Sigmund Freud maintained, resided in the deep-seated secrets and desires of the unconscious mind.

They encouraged the use of dreamlike images and the juxtaposition of unrelated objects that would jar the imagination.
Term
[image]
Definition
Forest and Dove
Max Ernest
1927
Oil on Canvas

"Surrealism is pure psychic automatism, by which is is intended to express, either verbally, or in writing, or in any other way, the true functioning of thought...thought expressed in the absence of any control exerted by reason, and outside all moral and aesthetic considerations."
Term
The Great Depression
Definition
1929, New York: The stock market crashed, unleashing the Great Depression.

If America had to contend with economic deprivation in the 1930's, the situation was even worse in Europe, where fascism added to the despair of the worldwide financial collapse.

Term
Fascism in Italy, Germany, and Spain
Definition
In rapid succession, Italy, Germany, and Spain became fascist dictatorships, depriving citizens of their civil liberties and threatening the peace and security of surrounding nations.

The Englightenment logic that had ushered in some 200 years of progress seemed to be crumbing; a large part of the European population gave up their freedom and followed Mussolini, Hitler, and Franco down an authoritarian path that ended in WWII (c. 1939-1945).

Artists responded to these threats in various ways...
Term
[image]
Definition
The Horde
Max Ernst
Oil on Canvas
1927
Term
[image]
Definition
Birth of Liquid Desires
Salvador Dali
1931-1932
Term
[image]
Definition
The Persistence of Memory
Salvador Dali
1931
Term
[image]
Definition
Object (Luncheon in Fur)
Meret Oppenheim
1936
Fur-covered saucer.
Term
[image]
Definition
Composition
Joan Miro
1933
Term
[image]
Definition
Guernica
Pablo Picasso
1937
Term
Biomorphic Abstraction of Surrealists
Definition
The Biomorphic abstraction of Surrealist and other artist like Miro inspired many artists to search for universal truths residing beneath the surface of things.

They focused primarily on nature, trying to pry loose the unseen pulse of the cosmos that coursed through the natural world.

Term
Artist working with Abstract Organic Forms
Definition
To reveal higher truths and realities, a number of artists, including Alexander Calder in Paris and Henry Moore in England, turned to working with abstract organic forms. Often, they showed in Surrealist exhibitions. But despite many parallels, their interests were very different from the Surrealist concerns of anxiety, desire, and sex, they were more interred in the powerful forces of the universe.
Term
[image]
Definition
Man, Controller of the Universe
Diego Rivera
Fresco
1934
Term
[image]
Definition
Forms in Echelon
Barbara Hepworth
Forms in Echelon
1938
Term
[image]
Definition
Recumbent Figures
Henry Moore
1938
Term
[image]
Definition
The Two Fridas
Frida Kahlo
1939
Term
The Harlem Renaissance
Definition
*From 1910 to 1940, approximately 1.6 million African Americans fled the rural south for the Cities of the Industrial North, where they hoped to find jobs as well as justice and equality.

This migration led to a cultural flourishing devoted to self-discovering and to establishing a black identity.

Leading this movement in literature, music, theatre, and art, was Alain Locke, a philosopher at Howard University. Locke called for a distinctive style that evoked a black sensibility and perspective. He encouraged artists to depict a distinct African-American Curlture.
Term
[image]
Definition
American Gothic
Grant Wood
1930

"In the mid 1930s-in the midst of The Great Depression-other artists, known collectively as the Regionalists, began to paint Midwestern themes."
Term
[image]
Definition
Jacob Lawrence
The Migration Series, Panel No. 1: During World War I There was a Great Migration North by Southern African Americans
1940-1941
Term
[image]
Definition
Jacob Lawrence
The Migration Series, Panel No. 58: In the North the Negro Had Better Educational Facilities
1940-1941
Term
[image]
Definition
Migrant Mother
Dorthee Lange
Nipomo, California
Feb 1936
Gelatin Silver Print