Surrealist artists channeled their unconscious thoughts as a means to allow their imagination to take over their work. They went beyond rational and literary realism and let their thoughts flow into the art they created. They believed rational thought held back the mind from expressing imagination and weighted it down with too many traditional ideas. They wanted their art to show the power of personal imagination and to tap into primitivism and myth. They found their inspirations on the streets and in everyday life. These are the top 10 greatest surrealism artists ever that allowed this style of art make them famous.
List of Top 10 Greatest Surrealism Artists Ever until in 2017
10. Salvador Dali
Salvador Dali is perhaps one of the most respected artists of the Surrealist group. He is also one of the most admired for many great works including; The Persistence of Memory, The Elephants, and the Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening. He was born in 1904 and his fame and fortune grew when he moved to the United States. During the 1930’s he was kicked out of the Breton’s group due to his commercialization of his art and his political views.
Dali’s painting skills were often attributed to his influence by the Renaissance artists. He not only painted but also expanded his artistic skills to film, sculpture, photography, and a variety of media. He was incredibly imaginative and enjoyed in indulging grandiose and unusual behavior.
9. Antonin Artaud
Antonin Artaud was born in 1896 and left a heavy mark on Surrealist art movement. He later was removed from this group apparently for being too ‘surrealist’ as he took the idea to the extreme. Artaud was not only an artist; he was also a playwright, poet, and theater director. He is responsible for the development of the ‘Theatre of Cruelty’ which was an experimental theater designed to trigger one’s unconscious reaction by targeting all five of their senses. He is also credited with writing the first Surrealist movie scenario for the movie, The Seashell and the Clergyman.
Artaud’s best-known work was The Theatre and Its Double which was published in 1938. It contains two manifestos of the Theatre of Cruelty. In this, he proposes theater is a return to magic and ritual and he wanted to create a new theatrical language of gesture and totem. In effect, he wanted a language devoid of dialogue that would appeal to all the senses.
8. Giorgio de Chirico
Giorgio de Chirico was born in 1888 and had a short-lived span as a Surrealist artist much like his span as a scualo metafisica. The scuola metafisica art movement is said to have influenced the surrealists. His paintings revealed a dreamlike and mysterious quality and all bore peculiar names. Some of his greatest works include The Song of Love, The Nostalgia of the Infinitive, The Red Tower, and The Disquieting Muses.
De Chirico best paintings were produced in 1909 and 1919 and are characterized as brooding, haunting moods that evoked by his images. At the beginning, he used cityscapes inspired by the bright daylight of the Mediterranean cities. These images gradually became cluttered storerooms which often were inhabited with mannequin-like figures.
7. Max Ernst
Max Ernst was born in 1891 and is considered one of the founding fathers of surrealism. He was one of the first to use Sigmund Freud’s methods in his work. Ernst was a German artist whose talents encompassed poet, sculptor, and painter. When He immigrated to the United States he distanced himself from Surrealist movement but continued his contacts with individual Surrealist artists. Some of Ernst’s most famous pieces of art include The Fireside Angel, Two Children Are Threatened by a Nightingale, and The Elephant Celebes.
Ernst had a fascination with birds that were prevalent in his work. Loplop, an alter ego in his paintings was a bird and he suggested was an extension of himself that stemmed from an early confusion of humans and birds. This started when one night his beloved bird died and a few minutes later his sister was born.
6. Andre Breton
Andre Breton was born in 1896 and is not as famous as some of the other surrealist artists. He is; however, regarded as one of the most important figures in the movement of this art period. Breton was a French poet and writer considered to be one of the founding fathers for the surrealism movement. He defined the nature of surrealism in his, Surrealist Manifesto published in 1924 which expressed his view of reality. This manifesto confirmed the existence of the surrealism movement and who the members of it were.
5. Yves Tanguy
Yves Tanguy was born in 1900 and was a self-taught French-born painter. He was inspired by a painting done by Giorgio de Chirico that he saw in 1923 and immediately immersed himself into his quest to become a great artist himself. He joined the Breton Surrealist group and Over the next few years developed his own distinct and unmistakable style. By the end of the 1930’s, Tanguy’s art was recognized as the finest example of ‘pure’ Surrealist painting. Some of his greatest works include Mama, Papa is Wonderful, Extinction of Useless Lights, Multiplication of the Arcs, Indefinite Divisibility, and The Invisibles. He is one amongst the Top 10 Greatest Surrealism Artists Ever until 2017.
Tanguy was known for becoming completely absorbed in his work. This may have been due to his very small studio which only had room for one piece of art at a time. He led a bohemian lifestyle of a struggling artist which eventually led to his first marriage failing.
4. Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso was born in 1881 and changed his style of art many times During his highly productive career as an artist. At one point in Picasso’s life, He was considered to be part of the surrealism movement. Andre Breton described Picasso of one of their own in an article He published in 1925, even though Picasso never fully embraced the style of art. Picasso most famous painting, The Guernica is an example of his Surrealist style Over his cubist style.
Picasso showed great artistic talent in his early years by painting in a naturalistic manner. He changed his style During the first part of the 20th century when He experimented with different theories and ideas. He was exceptionally prolific throughout his life and achieved universal recognition and an immense fortune.
3. Joan Miro
Joan Miro was born in 1893 and dabbled with several avant-garde styles including; Cubism, Fauvism, Magical realism, and Surrealism. He became one of the leading figures in the Surrealist art movement but did not want to be associated with any particular style, so he would not join the Breton Surrealist group. Even though surrealism had a great impact on his work he liked to experiment with other art styles. Miro is known for being one of the first artists to use automatic drawing which became a popular method of expressing the subconscious by Surrealist artists.
Miro earned international fame for his work when it was interpreted as surrealism. He often expressed contempt for conventional painting methods. He believed this type of art only supported a bourgeois society and was said to relate this point of view in many interviews done throughout the 1930’s.
2. Rene Magritte
Rene Magritte was born in 1898 and is regarded as one of the most highly appreciated Belgian Surrealist painters of his time. His unique style combined reality with the absurd and was exhibited in all major Surrealist shows. His art is displayed today in some of the most prestigious art museums around the world. Art critics were not impressed with his work so his success did not come easy. He was in his 50’s before his brilliance was realized.
Magritte became known for a number of his witty and thought-provoking images. He used ordinary objects and depicted them in an unusual context. He challenged observers of his art with preconditioned perceptions of reality. His style of art has influenced conceptual, minimalist, and pop art cultures.
1. Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp was born in 1887 and is known for creating ready-mades. This was his method of presenting ordinary objects as artwork. He played an important role in the development of modern sculpture and painting. Duchamp, a French painter never formally became part of the Surrealist movement but he did work closely with several famous surrealist artists including, Andre Breton. Some of his famous works include; Bride Stropped Bare by Her Bachelors, Nude Descending a Staircase, and one very controversial piece titled, Fountain.
Duchamp has a great impact on the twentieth and twenty-first-century art and had rejected many of his fellow artists saying they only intended to please the eye. He believed art should service the mind.
Sigmund Freud was influential in the Surrealist art movement. He legitimized the importance of dreams and the unconscious and gave valid revelations expressing human desires and emotions. These provided a theoretical basis for surrealism. These are the top 10 greatest surrealism artists ever until 2017 whose works display this theory.