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Salvador Dalí and the Evolution of Surrealism

, Salvador Dalí and the Evolution of Surrealism

Salvador Dalí, art movement, art criticism, subconscious mind, surrealist, dreams, subconscious, critics

 

Salvador Dalí and the Evolution of Surrealism

 

Salvador Dalí, art movement, art criticism, subconscious mind, surrealist, dreams, subconscious, critics

Salvador Dalí, art movement, art criticism, subconscious mind, surrealist, dreams, subconscious, critics

 

 

Perhaps one of the most widely recognizable names in the history of art, Salvador Dalí was long at the forefront of Surrealism, an art movement that emphasized the expression of the subconscious mind. Surrealism drew deliberately from altered states of consciousness: deep trances, dreams, meditation, and psychedelic drugs like mescaline were all popular among artistic circles during Surrealism’s heyday. Its imagery reflected its larger goal of serving as a direct reaction to modernism, the prevailing literary and artistic movement of the early 20th century.

 

Salvador Dalí, art movement, art criticism, subconscious mind, surrealist, dreams, subconscious, critics

Salvador Dalí, art movement, art criticism, subconscious mind, surrealist, dreams, subconscious, critics

 

Oftentimes surrealist artists and poets considered these hallucinatory drugs and altered states of consciousness integral to creating Surrealist art. They argued that since the subconscious mind by its very nature was inaccessible during regular consciousness, the only time one could capture surrealist imagery was either during the careful recollection of a dream or during an episode of otherwise altered consciousness. Dalí and others faced persecution and ridicule from some outside the art movement, especially from art critics who simply could not grasp the Surrealists’ continued departure from the rational. To these critics, the entire movement seemed devoid of substance and meaning, instead capitalizing on the inherent randomness and strangeness within our dreams.

 

Salvador Dalí, art movement, art criticism, subconscious mind, surrealist, dreams, subconscious, critics

Salvador Dalí, art movement, art criticism, subconscious mind, surrealist, dreams, subconscious, critics

 

Salvador Dalí himself was a Spanish artist who migrated from Spain to Paris in 1929 to continue his artistic experimentation. As one might imagine, Paris was one of the world’s centers for burgeoning art movements, playing host to massive art, music, and literary scenes. With influences from all around the world continually pouring into the city limits, Paris was an excellent place for Salvador Dalí to make connections with other artists and eventually try his hand at sculpture and even filmmaking, famously collaborating with Alfred Hitchcock in Hitchcock’s Spellbound.

 

Salvador Dalí, art movement, art criticism, subconscious mind, surrealist, dreams, subconscious, critics

Salvador Dalí, art movement, art criticism, subconscious mind, surrealist, dreams, subconscious, critics

 

Art criticism and art critics struggled during Surrealism’s zenith to rationalize what was clearly (and deliberately) not rational, and they assigned meaning and argument to whatever scant evidence they could find in Surrealist works. Much of the art criticism of the era also drew from Sigmund Freud’s work on dream studies, since this was some of the first widespread, accessible scientific data that attempted to address the origin of specific themes within human dreams. The advent of World War II largely swept away European Surrealism as many of the artists involved with the art movement (André Breton, Salvador Dalí, and Max Ernst were some of the most well-known) immigrated to New York in order to continue their artistic pursuits.

 

Salvador Dalí, art movement, art criticism, subconscious mind, surrealist, dreams, subconscious, critics

Salvador Dalí, art movement, art criticism, subconscious mind, surrealist, dreams, subconscious, critics

 

 

Keywords: Salvador Dalí, art movement, art criticism, subconscious mind, surrealist, dreams, subconscious, critics, surrealism