View Full Version : Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism

10-17-2006, 02:59 PM
What's the difference between Abstract Expression and Surrealism? Thier both defined by dream like qualities? so why have seperate -ism's for them?

10-17-2006, 04:28 PM
Abstract Expressionism is nonrepresentational, and is about direct visual communication, or expression, from the subconcious. Surrealism is representational, and is also about direct communication from the subconcious, but tells more of a story (the representational elements).

Think Pollock vs Dali, and you will see what I mean.

10-17-2006, 06:56 PM
Well, I couldn't say it better than that!

10-18-2006, 08:00 AM
Art Movements, like Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism, affect the whole world.

These two Movements came at different time periods and had different 'reasons' behind the creation of the works.

Surrealism, circa 1924, was started by a journalist/poet Andre Breton. It grew out of Dada, more or less, and began, interestingly enough, with poetry. It quickly grew to theater and then to painting and sculpture. It attempted to 'bypass' the conscious mind by a concept called automatism. It was, at first, very abstract [see Yves Tanguy's work.]

Abstract Expressionism began in the '40's and ran until 1952. That Movement was about trying to express feelings versus just skillfully creating representational images.

They were really about two different 'Art targets.'

Nonetheless they gave all of us some great works to enjoy.

Good question!


Diane Cutter
10-18-2006, 09:57 AM
You might want to check out this excellent thread: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=269839 JohnA went to a lot of work to compile it and it's worth bookmarking! It will give you artists working in different genre...