The Easel

Archives: Artforum

27th April 2021

Chaos magic

When does an art trend become a “school”? In the 1930’s, a group of American painters adopted “magic realism”, an exact representational style. Was this just surrealism by a different name? Its supporters say no – these artists were not interested in the subconscious mind but rather the “strangeness of the human condition”, in particular “a profound sensation of aloneness”. Whether this differentiates magic realism from surrealism is probably a matter of taste.