Visual surreal languages in western poster art


Arslan, Dogan 2006. Visual surreal languages in western poster art. Thesis University of East London
AuthorsArslan, Dogan

In this thesis, I investigate the main characteristics and techniques of the visual
language of Dada and Surrealism and how they have survived and evolved in the realm
of graphic design, especially in contemporary poster art. I also analyzed how Dada and
Surrealist irrational humor has been transformed and activated into today's poster art, to
support my claim that there are unique parallels and similar visual relationships.
In my thesis methodology, I used one-on-one interviews with some of the poster
artists whose work I analyzed. I also compared the work of specific artists with aspects of
the visual language of Dada and Surrealist art.
In my first section, I explored Dada's anarchistic and destructive juxtaposed
photomontages, which created certain visual forms like hybridization, metamorphosis,
and the contrast between large and small and high and low. I analyze how these visual
languages and techniques like photomontage have been transformed and used in
contemporary poster art.
In my second section, I discuss paintings of Magritte in relation to mystery, the
absurd and the irrational, some of the basic feature of Surrealism. Magritte's artwork also
used similar visual languages and approaches to Dadaists like Heartfield in his
photomontages. I also found that contemporary poster artists like Olbinski and Glaser
interpreted Magritte's visual approaches and methods in their poster designs.
In the last section, I argue that the absurdness, irrationality and subversive humor found
in Dada and surrealism, and formed by juxtaposed type of images and created by means
of the collage principles, had parallel in contemporary poster art.
I believe that my findings, outcomes and identifications based on comparisons,
analysis and investigations will help design students, practitioners, scholars, and art
enthusiasts in understanding and conceiving certain visual languages, methods, and
approaches that I found to exist among Dada, Surrealism and the modem poster.

KeywordsDada and surrealism; poster art
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Deposited09 May 2011
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This thesis supplied via ROAR to UEL-registered users is protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights, and duplication of any part of the material is not permitted, except for your personal use for the purposes of non-commercial research and private study in electronic or print form. You must obtain permission from the copyright-holder for any other use. Electronic or print copies may not be offered, for sale or otherwise, to anyone. No quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgement.

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