Surrealism continued the Dada idea that traditional subject matter in art no longer was valid in the twentieth century. Surrealists felt that academic art neglected the unexplored regions of dreams, fantasy, automatic creation, and disassociated images not meant to elicit a theme.
Bayer was a faculty member of the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany. The Bauhaus espoused art that could unite aesthetics with industrial design, something meant to exist harmoniously in the rapidly industrializing western world. He was trained as a painter, and during his Bauhaus years developed a style that ranged between surrealist collages, and constructivist grids of color. Collage and photomontage were developed to a high point by surrealist artists.
This self-portrait leans closely to Bayer's surrealist bent. It reflects the surrealist reliance on dream imagery. In mood, it is very evocative of early surrealist and expressionist films in its dark, slightly horrific nature.
Artform: PAINTING, DRAWING AND GRAPHIC ARTS, 20th and 21st Centuries
Artist: Bayer, Herbert
Artist Dates: 1900-1985
Country/Culture: Austria / United States
Period: 20th century
Size: 36x28 cm
Museum: Photo courtesy of the Artist
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