Expressive automatism abstract 895 16 x 47.5 x 2" 40x120x5cm Acrylic on Stretched on 3D Gallery Canvas
"Pure psychic automatism" was how André Breton defined surrealism, and while the definition has proved capable of significant expansion, automatism remains of prime importance in the movement.
Many of these are said to free imagination by producing a creative process free of conscious control. The importance of the unconscious as a source of inspiration is central to the nature of surrealism.
In automatic drawing, the hand is allowed to move 'randomly' across the paper. In applying chance and accident to mark-making, drawing is to a large extent freed of rational control. Hence the drawing produced may be attributed in part to the subconscious and may reveal something of the psyche, which would otherwise be repressed.
As alluded to above, surrealist artists often found that their use of 'automatic drawing' was not entirely automatic, rather it involved some form of conscious intervention to make the image or painting visually acceptable or comprehensible, "...Masson admitted that his 'automatic' imagery involved a two-fold process of unconscious and conscious activity...."[
‘Pure psychic automatism the dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason and outside all moral or aesthetic concerns’.
"the arising of novel and coherent structures, patterns and properties during the process of self-organization in complex systems".