The Surrealists
The Surrealists created dreamlike or seemingly insane works of art.

The Surrealists

This quiz addresses the requirements of the National Curriculum KS3 in Art and Design for children aged 11 to 14 in years 7 to 9. Specifically this quiz is aimed at the section dealing with understanding art movements and their influence on the world, and it focusses in particular on Surrealism and the Surrealist Movement.

In KS3 children will learn how to critically appraise historical works of art, as well as understand the influence ancient movements have had on art today.

Surrealism was possibly the defining art movement to take place between the two world wars. It was started by Andre Breton in around 1920 and came as a direct result of the influence of Dadaism. Dadaism was a form of anti-art that deliberately defied reason. Dadaism was also aimed at negative form and subject, whereas the surrealist movement had as their main aim to be a more positive expressive art form.

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Initially Surrealism consisted of a series of journals and poetry but went on to include may different art forms including poetry and literature. It attempted to throw off the confinements of contemporary culture and looked to shock and rebuke the conventional notions of reality. The unconscious played a large role in surrealist works and one of the main and recurring themes was to try to create images of such unconscious worlds and fuel them with the animal desire that lay in each of us.

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  1. What key event happened to Surrealism in 1924
    The two leaders of the factions clashed regularly, sometimes physically fighting over their right to be called Surrealists
  2. Another key Surrealist, Joan Miró, famously declared what?
    He favoured a completely renegade style, which did not adhere to any conventions of the time
  3. Chirico's famous work, 'Le Mauvais Génie d’un Roi' is translated as what?
    Chirico founded the 'scuola metafisica' art movement, which profoundly influenced the surrealists
  4. When and how was the term 'Surrealism' first used?
    'The Breasts of Tiresias' (Les mamelles de Tirésias) is a surrealist play by Guillaume Apollinaire. He used the term in his preface to the play
  5. A huge exhibition of Surrealism was held in Paris in 1938. What were visitors to the exhibition given?
    The Surrealists wanted to create an exhibition which in itself would be a creative act
  6. When did Surrealism begin?
    Artists painted unnerving, illogical scenes with photographic precision, creating strange and unnerving worlds as they attempted to recreate the subconscious
  7. Which aspect of Sigmund Freud's work inspired the Surrealists?
    Freud's work with free association, dream analysis, and the unconscious was of utmost importance to the Surrealists in developing methods to free imagination
  8. A key artist in the movement, Salvador Dali, is best known for his work showing melting clocks in a surreal landscape. What is it called?
    The general interpretation of the work is that the soft watches are a rejection of the assumption that time is rigid
  9. Surrealist René Magritte challenged conceptions of reality. What was the subject of his painting entitled 'This is not a pipe'?
    He wanted people to look at his work and think, 'What does that mean?'
  10. What happened to Surrealism in the 1930s?
    A British surrealist group emerged in Britain and Surrealist leaders saw this era as the pinnacle of the movement

Author: Angela Smith

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