Research: Surrealism / Dadaism / Half-Tone

Merz by Kurt Schwitters
DADA movement
  • Message behind artworks are often satirical, mocking materialistic and nationalistic ideas
  • Artworks often question society, the role of the artist and purpose of art
  • Elements consist of everyday objects with little manipulation by the artist
  • Influenced by cubism, futurism, constructivism and expressionism
  • Artistic style uses a lot of image collaging

dada artist: TRISTAN TZARA
  • Considered the founder of Dadaism
  • “Cut-up” style, collaging text and images
  • From 1916, Tzara organised violent, disruptive, and unexpected performances at Café Voltaire to shock and upset his audience
  • Inspired by African art and poetry to introduce non-Western aesthetic
  • Later on, he went to explore surrealism and produced work that expressed dream-like states, ulterior realities, and the workings of the unconscious.

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali
Surrealism movement
  • The world created in the artworks are often in between reality and fantasy
  • Often portray unreal situations in seemingly real settings
  • “Tapping onto the unconscious mind to unleash the power of imagination”
  • Often uses bizarre imagery and unsettling juxtapositions
  • Influenced by Karl Marx
  • Artistic style often gravitates to some form of paradox or irony
surrealism artist: salvador dali
  • The most famous surrealist with a cute moustache
  • Freudian theory is evident in his works, often created out of unconscious ideas, such as his dreams and hallucinations. 
  • Most prominent themes in his work include eroticism, death, and decay.
  • Imagery used are symbols that people of his time can relate to, such as the use of animals and religious symbols.
other surrealism references

Designer Creates Surreal Images By Merging Two Completely Different Objects Into One

russian constructivism
  • Composition with a focus on functional design
  • Main focus is not on aesthetics or meaning of artwork itself but highlighting the usefulness of the product / object designed



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