Comparing Cubism and Surrealism Essay

Comparing Cubism and Surrealism Essay

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I have chosen to research the relationship between Cubism and Surrealism and Surrealism and the world of art. Cubism originated in Paris in 1907 and continued to succeed in France until 1914. In about 1911 the rest of the world began to discover this movement and Cubism stuck around until 1919. During the late ninetieth century and early twentieth century the world was just discovering the art of Native Africans, due to the war between Africa and the British diversifying the population which also included natives of the United States, Mexico and Argentina resulting in a spread of culture. This caused other parts of the world to gain new ways of thinking and perceiving things in the world around them.
For example, the revision of Newton's law of gravitation which states that gravity on an object is constant, to Einstein's theory of general relativity which states that velocity will change the rate of an objects attraction. These revisions allowed the people to reconsider their standard ways of thinking to include looking at things from different perspectives and questioning what they knew to be considered normal. Thus resulting in Cubism's stylistic traits which are distorting perspectives, disassembling and reassembling objects in an abstract way, while also emphasizing the two dimensional surfaces (Cottington, 2005).
The Surrealism movement was developed in the late 1910s and early 1920s, however it wasn’t made an official movement until 1924 when Andre Breton created "Manifeste du Surrealisme". Andre Breton's work was said to be stimulated by Sigmund Freud theories of the unconscious mind. The meaning behind these theories removed the boundaries between the real world and fantasies of the human subconscious. One of the most...

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...ation. Another relevance between the two pieces is that the first World War directly impacted the view that society took to create this piece. Cubism's "Le Guitariste" was a slightly chaotic interpretation to what was happening in the world during the war between Africa and Britain. Likewise, the interpretation by Dali in “The Persistence of Memory” was more of a meditation to what was occurring in the world during the prelude to World War 2 (Durozoi, 2002) (Cottington, 2005).
In conclusion, both periods of art had their influence on the world in different and similar aspects. Both are worth studying and getting to know in their own respect.


Cottington, D. (2005). Cubism and Its Histories. Manchester, UK.: Manchester University Press.

Durozoi, G. (2002). History of the Surrealist Movement. Chicago, IL.: University of Chicago Press.

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