Surrealism emerged in the first half of the 20th century under the influence of new knowledge about psychoanalysis. The new insights about the concept of the unconscious inspired surrealist artists who wanted to visualize precisely this unconscious in their pictures. Dream and reality were supposed to melt together in surrealism; in fact, the word “surrealisme” means literally that which extends beyond realism or finds itself outside of reality. Surrealism became a closed movement beginning in 1921 in Paris under the leadership of the French writer and critic André Breton. In 1924, his "Manifeste du Surréalisme" appeared, in which the goals of surrealism were once again set forth. In stylistic terms, objects were distorted in surrealism, colors were cooler, completely real objects were isolated or set into abstruse contexts so that the observer could no longer distinguish between dream and reality. In this way, however, the consciousness of the observer was also to be expanded, so that surrealism revealed anarchistic and revolutionary tendencies as well.
Important artists of surrealism are: Alejandro Albarrán, Hans Arp, Leonora Carrington, Giorgio de Chirico, Otfried H. Culmann, Salvador Dalí, Paul Delvaux, Oscar Dominguez, Marcel Duchamp, Edgar Ende, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Rudolf Hausner, Frida Kahlo, René Magritte, André Masson, Robert Matta, Joan Miró, Richard Oelze, Meret Oppenheim, Wolfgang Paalen, Pablo Picasso, Pierre Roy, Kay Sage, Yves Tanguy, Mac Zimmermann.
Related artists: Arp, Jean | Bachem, Bele | Baj, Enrico | Bellmer, Hans | Brauer, Arik | Buchheister, Carl | Chagall, Marc | Chirico, Giorgio de | Cucchi, Enzo | Dalí, Salvador | Ernst, Max | Fuchs, Ernst | Giacometti, Alberto | Guttuso, Renato | Höch, Hannah | Jaenisch, Hans | Klee, Paul | Kolár, Jirí | Kubin, Alfred | Magritte, René | Man Ray | Miró, Joan | Moore, Henry | Nay, Ernst Wilhelm | Radziwill, Franz | Reichel, Hans | Schnackenberg, Walter | Schultze, Bernard | Tanguy, Yves | Weber, A. Paul | Wols, (d.i. Wolfgang Schulze) | Wunderlich, Paul