Timeline of Surrealism

Origins and Beginnings

  • Jun 24, 1917 — Guillaume Apollinaire coins the term ‘Surrealism’ in a play, marking the movement’s first use.
  • Sep 29, 1918 — World War One’s end scatters and regroups artists, influencing the birth of Dada and later Surrealism.
  • 1920 — Surrealism officially starts, with a focus on automatism and the liberation of the unconscious mind.

Key Events and Publications

  • Jun 19, 1924 — Surrealist Manifesto is published, outlining the movement’s aims and philosophy.
  • Feb 9, 1925 — Surrealists engage in cafe meetings and automatic drawings, influenced by Freud’s work.
  • May 19, 1923 — Surrealist rejection of rational value influences films, including works by Man Ray and Salvador Dali.
  • 1928 — ‘Un Chien Andalou’, a famous surrealist film by Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel, is presented.
  • 1929 — Surrealism movement turns to communism in response to the war in Morocco.

Development and Influence

  • 1930s — Surrealism spreads internationally, influencing artists in Europe, North America, and beyond.
  • 1936 — International Surrealist Exhibition is held in London, showcasing the movement’s global reach.
  • 1937 — Max Ernst begins to create sculptural works, expanding Surrealism’s visual language.
  • 1938 — Antonin Artaud publishes ‘The Theatre and Its Double’, linking Surrealism to theatre.
  • 1940s — Surrealism’s influence extends to Abstract Expressionism and other post-war art movements.

Legacy and Later Years

  • 1940s — Many Surrealists flee to the United States during World War II, influencing American art.
  • 1947 — International Surrealist Exhibition is held in Paris, marking a post-war resurgence.
  • 1950s-1960s — Surrealist ideas continue to influence literature, philosophy, and popular culture.
  • 1966 — René Magritte’s retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art solidifies Surrealism’s legacy.
  • 1970s-present — Surrealism’s influence endures in various art forms and cultural movements, from Pop Art to postmodernism.