Art of the 1920's By: Kamrynn Hurtado


The Big Picture

Surrealism involved elements of surprise and unexpected juxtapositions, and both movements embraced a philosophy of nonconformity. As a literary movement that experimented with a new mode of expression called automatic writing, or automatism, which sought to release the imagination of the subconscious. Surrealism became an international intellectual and political movement. Using methods of free association, their poetry and prose drew upon the private world of the mind, traditionally restricted by reason and societal limitations, to produce surprising, unexpected imagery.

What it consisted of

Collage, Cubomania [COO-BOW-MAN-YAH] (form of collage wherein an image is cut into squares and reassembled randomly), Decalcomania (spreading thick paint on a canvas, and while still wet, covering it with paper or foil), Eclaboussure [ICK-LAB-BOW-SURE] (the process of placing paints down and the water or turpentine is splattered), Frottage (method of using the pencil rubbings over to a texture surface), Fumage (use of impressions by smoke of a candle or lamp onto the blank canvas) and Grattage (the process of scraping paint off the canvas to reveal the imprint placed beneath)

Art Deco


Art Deco was the dominant style of design and architecture in the 1920s. It originated and spread throughout Europe before making its presence felt in North American design. Many historians give credit to the war for inspiring artists to infuse their work with both the fragmented nature of Cubist designs with the luxurious trappings of Orientalism The distinguishing features of the style are simple shapes that look geometric. The style reflected admiration for the modern day of machines (their design qualities).

What was it?

Bold geometric patterns with hard angles and a clear preference for symmetry in design all symbolized the wave of industry that was transforming the country. At the same time, the generous use of gold, steel and a variety of expensive materials spoke to the wealth that so many new industries were creating.


Putting it together

Dada was the style that incorporated nonsense and absurdity. The movement primarily involved deliberate irrationality, disillusionment, cynicism, randomness, and the rejection of the prevailing standards in art. It began in Zürich, Switzerland. It arose as a reaction to World War I, Dada's aesthetic, marked by its mockery of materialistic and nationalistic attitudes. The movement dissipated with the establishment of Surrealism. The war merely confirmed the degradation of social structures that led to such violence: corrupt and nationalist politics, repressive social values, and unquestioning conformity of culture and thought. Dada was designed to be ghost-like and short-lived.

the materials

Dada can essentially be anything that really isn't pleasing to the eye or just "art" in that matter. collage art had used trash simply because they could. Dada art often has, words that are usually arranged in nonsense sentences or gibberish. Other ways would be a basic sculpted head and then attached various found objects to it.

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