The man who cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot.
As beautiful as the chance encounter of a sewing machine and an umbrella on an operating table.
Surrealism, then, neither aims to subvert realism, as does the fantastic, nor does it try to transcend it. It looks for different means by which to explore reality itself.
Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.
Perfect nonsense goes on in the world. Sometimes there is no plausibility at all.
One day it will have to be officially admitted that what we have christened reality is an even greater illusion than the world of dreams.
It is not my intention to make anything comprehensible. I am of the opinion that there are sufficient paintings which one understands after a shorter or longer delay, and that therefore some incomprehensible painting would now be welcome. I am at pains to deliver such, as far as possible.
I believe in the future resolution of these two states, dream and reality, which are seemingly so contradictory, into a kind of absolute reality, a surreality, if one may so speak.
The real importance of automatism lay in the fact that it led to a different relation between the artist and the creative act. Where the artist had traditionally been seen as someone who invents a personal world, bringing into being something unique to his own 'genius', the surrealists conceived themselves as explorers and researchers rather than 'artist' in the traditional sense and it was discovery rather than invention that became crucial for them.
Compiled by Dean Poulter