The group aimed to revolutionize human experience, including its personal, cultural, social, and political aspects, by freeing people from what they saw as false rationality, and restrictive customs and structures. Surrealist works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur; however many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost, with the works being an artifact.
Freud's work with free association, dream analysis and the hidden unconscious was of the utmost importance to the Surrealists in developing methods to liberate imagination. However, they embraced idiosyncrasy, while rejecting the idea of an underlying madness or darkness of the mind.
- Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express -- verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner -- the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by the thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.
Throughout the 1930s, Surrealism continued to become more visible to the public at large. Dalí and Magritte created the most widely recognized images of the movement. Dalí joined the group in 1929, and participated in the rapid establishment of the visual style between 1930 and 1935.
Some well known surreal paintings are:
The persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali
Soft Construction with Boiled Beans by Salvador Dali
Time Transfixed by Rene Magritte
The Human Condition by Rene Magritte
Maternity by Joan Miro