Surrealism took Dadaism as its pioneer. During the French literary world of two world wars, super realism exerted a wide influence mainly focused on poems then related to prose, fiction, and drama and even in painting. Super realists aimed to get rid of the reality and return to the original world, denying rational influence and emphasizing people’s subconscious or unconscious activities. France's subjective idealism philosopher Berggren’s intuition and Austria psychiatric Freud subconscious doctrine laid a surreal philosophical and theoretical foundation.
According to research, the term surrealism was from France Cubist poet Guillaume Apollinaire at the beginning of this century. In 1917 he said in his letter to Tiermy, "After second thought, I really think I had better use the word surrealism which I had originally used. This word was more convenient than the word supernaturalism that philosophers applied before". From that, Apollinaire’s creation of the word surrealism meant to use it to replace the word supernaturalism. Its original meaning was to seek all sorts of phenomena, including the life, society, moral ethics and spiritual aspects.
In 1923, after the collapse of Dadaism's the last assembly, many Dadaism members turned to surrealism. In 1924, the French writer Blodon published the first "surrealist Manifesto" inParis; 1929, he also published second declaration of surrealism, which fully explained the art thought of surrealism. On 1930, Desinuosi published the third declaration of surrealism. Thus, surrealism art was comprehensively and fully reflected.
In the first Surrealist Manifesto, Blodon gave a classic explanation to surrealism: "surrealism is a masculine noun and is a pure spirit unconscious activity. Through it, people could use verbal or other ways to really express their thoughts. It only accepts the enlightenment of the thought, without any rational control and any aesthetic or moral prejudice". "Surrealism was established on such a basis that was the unbiased activity belief. It will ultimately destroy all other mechanical theories and replace them to solve the main problems in the life".
Surrealism declared: human instinct, fantasy, and consciousness were the source of literary and artistic creation. The human's mind should be relieved from the logic and rational bondage. Rational, moral, religious, social and simple daily life experiences were the restraints for human spirit and human nature. Only people's unconsciousness, dreams and mental disorder were the true activities of the spirit.
Therefore, in the surrealist poetry, they deliberately used naive languages and pathological images to oppose the traditional beautiful views. In the painting, they used confused lines and any painted colors. In the drama, they used barbaric music and music to torture people and rhythmically beat carrier and washbasin with bicycle bell.
Metaphysical Painter Chirico was classified as the pioneer of surrealism painting. His works had created the most heartbeat and disturbing dream scene in the modern art: square, arches, buildings, moon, empty vehicles carrying furniture, girl playing the iron ring. All the things were fastened on the dead light like a stage scene. These accidental and absurd contents were disturbing. However, the strange conflict and clear mood let a person feel a kind of magic power. The stage-like, flat ground in his paintings later became the standard space of many surrealism paintings.
What surrealist artists pursued was this fantastic effect. Their aesthetic credo was proposed in the First Surrealist Manifesto made by Blodon, "Unbelievable things are always beautiful, and all the unbelievable things are beautiful, only unbelievable things are beautiful". "The beauty may be shocking and may be not". Thus, the world with a wild legend dream created by Daly was truly beautiful, such as the soft surface hanged on the tree, the dismembered body and terrible skeletons on the background, etc. Those visible and deformed images created a nightmare scene, looking so realistic and unknown. Such style was called the surrealism of naturalism, represented by Margaret in addition to Daly. Another style of surrealism was called Organic Surrealism, represented by Milo, in the pursuit of fantastic and life associated abstract pictures.
For surrealists, Duchamp was a very charming figure. His attitude also had a surreal sense and demonstrated a surrealist thought ahead of later surrealists. From an artistic point of view, the surrealists almost did not exceed this idea.