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Difference between Abstract and Surrealism

Difference between Abstract and Surrealism

Abstract and surrealism are two very different art movements, but they are often confused with one another. In this blog post, we will explore the key differences between these two styles of art. We will also look at some famous examples of each movement to help illustrate the points made.

What is Abstract?

Abstract is a term used in the arts to describe a concept that cannot be represented directly. This can be because it is too complex, too ephemeral, or simply too difficult to represent in a physical form. In music, for example, the abstraction of sound into melody and harmony can create a feeling or atmosphere that is difficult to capture in words. In painting, abstraction can allow the artist to explore emotions or ideas that cannot be accurately conveyed through realistic imagery. By its nature, abstract art is often highly personal and open to interpretation. As such, it can be seen as a challenge to traditional ideas about what art should be. Whether viewed as an innovative way of expression or as a rejection of conventional aesthetics, abstract art has had a profound impact on the history of art.

What is Surrealism?

Surrealism was an artistic and literary movement that began in the early 1920s. The movement was led by French writer André Breton, and its aim was to revolutioinze art and literature by tapping into the unconscious mind. Surrealist artists believed that the unconscious mind was a repository of hidden desires and fantasies, and they sought to express these through their work. In order to tap into the unconscious, Surrealist artists often employed techniques such as automatic writing and painting, in which they would allow their hands to move without conscious thought. The resulting artworks were often strange and dreamlike, and they often featured elements of surprise or unexpected juxtapositions. Surrealism had a profound impact on the arts, and its influence can still be seen in many modern art movements.

Difference between Abstract and Surrealism

Abstract art is often characterized by its use of geometric forms and bold color, while surrealism is defined by its dreamlike images and symbolic meaning. However, the two styles share a number of commonalities. Both movements emerged in the early 20th century as a reaction to the realism of the time, and both were heavily influenced by the cubist style. In addition, both movements sought to express the inner psychological landscape of the artist, whether through abstraction or symbolism. As a result, Abstract and Surrealism are often seen as two sides of the same coin, with each providing a unique but equally valid perspective on reality.


Although the two styles are often confused, there is a clear distinction between abstract and surreal art. Abstract art relies on shapes and colors to create an image that is open to interpretation, while surrealism uses distorted images and unexpected juxtapositions to create a dream-like state. If you’re looking for something that will make your guests do a double take, go with some surrealist artwork.

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