Dada & Surrealism Illustrations

Duchamp's LHOOQL.H.O.O.Q., (Marcel Duchamp, 1919). Phonetically: "elle a chaud au cul" or "She's got a hot ass."

The Dada Manifesto (1918):

The signatories of this manifesto have, under the battle cry

D A D A ! ! !

gathered together to put forward a new art. What, then, is Dadaism? The word "Dada" signifies the most primitive relation to the reality of the environment. . . . Life appears as a simultaneous muddle of noises, colours and spiritual rhythms, which is taken unmodified, with all the sensational screams and fevers of its reckless everyday psyche and with all its brutal reality. . . . Dada is the international expression of our times, the great rebellion of artistic movements, the artistic reflex of all these offensives, peace congresses, riots in the vegetable market. . . . (Hughes, 71)

The Exquisite Corpse


Exquisite Corpse 1 "Exquisite Corpse: Game of folded paper played by several people, who compose a sentence or drawing without anyone seeing the preceding collaboration or collaborations. The now classic example, which gave the game its name, was drawn from the first sentence obtained this way: The-exquisite-corpse-will-drink-new-wine."

--André Breton (Waldberg, 93-94)

Drawing by Yves Tanguy, Man Ray, Max Morise, Joan Miró, c. 1926.
More exquisite corpses. Drawings by Victor Brauner, André Breton, Jacques Hérold and Yves Tanguy, 1935.

Exquisite Corpse 2 Exquisite Corpse 3

And still more exquisite corpses, by U Alabama students (click for more in PDF format).

Exquisite corpse by U Alabama students.

First Surrealist Manifesto (1924)

André Breton by Man RayBy André Breton. Full text is over here. There's also a PDF-format version that'll be easier to print. (Breton photograph by Man Ray [1938], source: Google Art Project.)

SURREALISM, noun, masc., Pure psychic automatism by which it is intended to express, either verbally or in writing, the true function of thought. Thought dictated in the absence of all control exerted by reason, and outside all aesthetic or moral preoccupations.

ENCYCL. Philos. Surrealism is based on the belief in the superior reality of certain forms of association heretofore neglected, in the omnipotence of the dream, and in the disinterested play of thought. It leads to the permanent destruction of all other psychic mechanisms and to its substitution for them in the solution of the principal problems of life. (Waldberg, 72)

René Clair's Entr'Acte, featuring many Dada and surrealist artists.

Photographer Man Ray (right) & artist Marcel Duchamp play chess.

Man Ray, 1931

Marcel Duchamp, 1958


Duchamp was known for dada, "readymade" (e.g., Fountain [1917]) and cubist work (e.g., Nude Descending a Staircase).

Marcel Duchamp's Fountain; click for larger image. Nude Descedning a Staircase
Sources: WikiArt, WikiArt

Dada playwright Francis Picabia (right) and composer Erik Satie ignite a cannon.

Francis Picabia, 1922

Léger & Murphy's Ballet Mécanique

One flew
A collar of pearls
Of 5 million
click for larger image
Charlie Chaplin collage

Luis Buñuel & Salvador Dalí's Un Chien Andalou

View hundreds of Dalí's works online.
Dalí's paintings are featured in The Shock of the New (pp. 239-240).
(Select an image below for a larger view.)

Un Chien Andalou (1929)


Other Surrealist Work

René Magritte

The Treason of Images, 1928-9
The Treason of Images (1928-9)

"Ceci n'est pas une pipe." =
"This is not a pipe."

Magritte, The Treachery of Images
Source: WikiArt
1948 version

Magritte, The Rape
Source: WikiArt
The Rape (1934)
Magritte, The Menaced Assassin
Source: WikiArt
The Menaced Assassin (1927)
Magritte, The Human Condition I
Source: WikiArt
The Human Condition I (1933)
Magritte, On the Threshold of Liberty
Source: WikiArt
On the Threshold of Liberty (1930)

The Freudian Influence on Surrealism

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)  

From "The Anatomy of the Mental Personality" lecture, published in New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-analysis (1933), available online.

Source: diagram by Anthony A. Walsh.

Surrealist Painting and Its Antecedents

Romanticism Giorgio de Chirico
Arnold Böcklin, The Isle of the Dead (1883)
Source: Google Art Project.
Arnold Böcklin, The Isle of the Dead (1883; 3rd of 5 versions)
de Chirico, The Nostalgia of the Infinite Melancholy and Mystery of a Street The Song of Love The Disquieting Muses
  The Nostalgia of the Infinite (c. 1911-13), Melancholy and Mystery of a Street (1914), The Song of Love (1914), The Disquieting Muses (1916)
Primitive, folk art  
Click for larger image Postman Cheval's Ideal Palace
Source: official Webpage
Henri Rousseau, Le Rêve ("the dream," 1910) "Facteur" Cheval, Ideal Palace (1879+)
Ave Maria Grotto
Source: Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress
Ave Maria Grotto
Source: Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress
Brother Joseph Zoettl's Ave Maria Grotto (Cullman, AL)  
Max Ernst  
Ernst, The Elephant Celebes Ernst, Two Children Are Threatened by a Nightingale
The Elephant Celebes (1921) Two Children are Threatened by a Nightingale (1924)
Joan Miró  
Miro, The Harlequin's Carnival
Miro, The Tilled Field
Harlequin's Carnival (1924-5) The Tilled Field (1923)



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Last revised: 12 September 2019 14:54:19