Unleashing the Unconscious: Surrealist Automatism in the Artistic Revolution

What is automatism in art? An art movement.

Regia Marinho


Contemporary abstract automatism. Digital painting 2023 by Regia Marinho.

The above digital painting is an example of my work.

A contemporary kind of surrealist automatism.

Automatism in art refers to a technique where the artist creates without conscious control, allowing the subconscious mind to guide the artistic process.

This approach often involves spontaneous and unplanned movements, gestures, or mark-making, resulting in abstract and often surreal or dreamlike artworks.

Automatism in the early 20th century was part of the Surrealist movement.

Surrealist artists, influenced by psychoanalytic theories and the exploration of the unconscious mind, sought to tap into the deeper, instinctual aspects of creativity.

They embraced techniques that bypassed rational thought and encouraged the expression of raw emotions and ideas.

Two main types of automatism are often distinguished:

Literal Automatism:

Involves completely spontaneous, unplanned movements, such as doodling or free-associative drawing.

Verbal Automatism:

Involves spontaneous and unfiltered verbal expression, often in the form of automatic writing or speaking.

Famous Surrealist artists, such as André Masson and Joan Miró, explored automatism in their works.

The process was seen as a way to access the unconscious, reveal hidden thoughts, and break free from the constraints of rationality.

Automatism has influenced various art forms, including painting, drawing, poetry, and performance art.

An inspiration for artists interested in exploring the interplay between the conscious and subconscious mind in the creative process.

Surrealist automatism

André Masson.

Automatic Drawing. (1924). Ink on paper, 91⁄4 × 81⁄8" (23.5 × 20.6 cm).



Regia Marinho

I write about ideas, technology, the future and inspire the world through art. Artist. Civil engineer. https://regiaart.com