60 years of surrealism (short history)

The surrealist movement that started 90 years ago, remains very interesting even today. There are few art movements that have had such a tremendous influence over the modern writing art or aesthetic evolution. We are the witness of an continuing activity of promoting and research of surrealism in various forms of arts, from visual arts, to music and literature. Surrealism trends, together with Einstein’s space time relative theory, and Plank’s quantum mechanics in physics, defined at the beginning of 20th century a certain non-liniar way in philosophical thinking. The shock waves resulting from this evolution can be felt and seen even today.
Here is a brief chronology of this movement:
1916   Andre Breton meets with Apollinaire at military hospital from Nantes. Dada movement is founded at Voltaire cabaret from Zurich. (by Romanian Tzara and others). Alberto Savinio, Giorgio de Chirico’s brother, publish metaphysical poems in Florenta’s magazine 'La Voce'.
1917   Appollinaire’s play "les Mamelles de Tiresias", supranaturalist drama and then renamed surreal drama, as the word 'surreal' becomes famous.

1918   Breton and Aragon meets "Les Chants de Maladoror" written by Lautreamont. Miro has his first exhibition of abstract drawings at Barcelona. Pierre Reverdy redefines poetic image in the 'Nord-Sud' magazine. Appollinaire dies.

1919   Paul Valery advised by Aragon and Breton starts 'Litterature' magazine and publishes "Poésies d'Isidore Ducasse". Chirico is working at his book 'Metaphysical Picture'.

1920   'Litterature' magazine gives a warming hello to Tzara, and some 23 Dada manifests were published.

1921   First divergence between dadaism and surrealism.

1922   Breton’s attempt in organizing a 'Meeting for defining modern spirit' fails due to Tristan Tzara. Their divergences become public. Robert Desnos invents tongue twisters based on dreams visions. The onirics becomes object of study for Marcel Duchamp at New York.

1923   Angry dispute between dadaists and surrealists at Tzara’ play "Coeur à gaz ".

1924   Breton publishes first 'Surreal Manifesto' and the a collection of automated poems "Poisson Soluble". Max Ernest finishes his famous paint 'Two children threaten by a nightingale.'

1925   Antonin Artaud leads 'Centrale Surrealiste'. Members: Chirico,Breton, Aragon, Desnos, Soupault, Eluard, Vitrac, Naville, Queneau, Baron. First surrealist exhibition at Pierre gallery.

1926   'Chosen body' is published. Writings at 4-5 hands, they were poems randomly written by Péret, Tanguy, Prévert, Masson. Surrealism movement extends in Belgium, where Rene Magrite paints in the most classical surreal way.

1929   Dali,Char, Bunel join the movement. Surrealism is accused as vicious death incitation. Source ? Breton’s book Nadja.

1930   Breton publish 'The second Surreal Manifesto'. It is a very good year for movement. Dali has new works, Bunel has his movie "L'Age d'or" with political consequences, parliament debates and some fascists aggressions. The movie is censored, and Breton has to condemn surrealism at the writers communist meeting from Harkov.

1932   Aragon accused for his poem Front Rouge. Breton asks in his speech "Misère de la poésie" for immediate halt for political persecutions. First surreal exhibition at Hartford-USA.

1937   Nazis organized a exhibition of 'degenerated arts'. They called surrealists as promoting the 'artistic haos'. The first show for Alfred Jarry play 'Ubu Enchained'.

1938   International surrealist exhibition at Beaux-Arts Gallery. Insulted by local reactionary media. 'Short dictionary of surrealism' published by Breton and Eluard. Breton travels in Mexico for meeting Trotsky.

1941 - 1942   Breton and Mason are refugee in America, Peret in Mexico. Duchamp and Breton publish at New York the 'VVV' magazine. An important document: "First papers of Surrealism". The opening of the Guggenheim, museum.

1945   Maurice Nadeau publishes in Paris 'A surrealism history' with new facts and unknown events and details at that time.

1947 - 1957   Breton back in Paris. Victor Brauner surreal pictures exhibition at Meght gallery. A new magazine 'Medium' – informations about surreal art – will become famous later. Max Ernest does not belong to the movement anymore. Another magazine, "Le surréalisme, même" founded by Breton, Duchamp and Schuster.

1958   Surrealism in Japan

1959   Paris – Cordier Gallery. Surreal exhibition focused on erotic art. Some of the paintings has to be withdraw (like Clovis Trouille - Bateau Ivre) as some officials threatened with canceling the exhibition.

1960 - 1964   Surreal exhibitions at Milano, New York , and Charpentier Gallery – Paris

1966   Breton dies, age 70. His workshop remains intact with all precious documents and sketches.

1969   Serious misunderstandings between members of the Schuster group, lead to official closing of surrealist experience. Polemics, discussions, reopening attempts but nothing worked, as an article published in 'Le Monde' newspaper with headline 'Le Quatrieme Chant' declared that historical surrealism is finished.

May, 22, 2007


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