automatism

Discipline: Art

(1940s)

This term describes both the aims and methods of surrealism in allowing unconscious images and chance effects to form a work; for example, the use of ink blots by French painter FRANCIS PICABIA (1879-1953).

The principle was adopted by the New York Surrealists of the 1940s and provided the basis for action painting, art informel; and, particularly, a group of seven Canadian artists active in the 1940s who called themselves Les Automatistes.

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