Belorussian born French painter Marc Chagall (1887-1985) composed images based on emotional and poetic associations, rather than on pictorial logic. His early works prefigure the Surrealism with which he’s most closely associated, and are among the first to express a psychic reality. Although critics often complain about the unevenness in quality among Chagall’s work (he produced a great deal of it) it is widely agreed that his art “reached a level of visual metaphor seldom attempted in modern art.”
Entries in Surrealism (15)
Swiss painter Paul Klee (1879-1940) is often labeled as an Expressionist or a Surrealist—he chose not to be associated with any one art movement. However, he assimilated, and even anticipated, most of the major artistic tendencies of his time in his work. Using both representational and abstract approaches, he produced an immense oeuvre of some 9,000 paintings, drawings, and watercolors that embody an amazing variety of styles. His works tend to be small in scale and are remarkable for their delicate nuances of line, color, and tonality. Music figures prominently in his work, and even more so—literature. His art has had a wide and profound influence.
French born American Surrealist Yves Tanguy (1900-1955) created paintings that are immediately recognizable—in his unique style of nonrepresentational surrealism. Although he didn’t enjoy as much fame as some of his contemporaries—Tanguy has been and remains an important influence on later artists.
German born painter Max Ernst (1891-1976) spent most of his life in France, creating both Dada and Surrealist works. Ernst one of the leading advocates of irrationality in art, and an originator of the Automatism movement of Surrealism. Automatism--a technique used for exploring the creative force of the unconscious in art was begun by the Surrealist poets, who tried writing in a hypnotic, trancelike state. The technique was heavily influence by Freudian theory--and eventually was explored by visual artists.