Magic Realism

The turn of phrase of magic realism was invented by German photographer, art historian and art critic Franz Roh in 1925 when he wished to describe modern realist paintings that portrayed fantastical or dream-like topics as their subjects of attention. The term originates from Roh's book Nach Expressionismus: Magischer Realismus which translates as “After Expressionism: Magic Realism".

In 20th century European culture, Magic Realism partook in a reactionary movement against modern or avant-garde art, known as the return to order. This movement in the arts was largely founded around a philosophy that came as a result of the legacy of the First World War. Magic realist artists included Giorgio de Chirico, Alberto Savinio and others in Italy, and Alexander Kanoldt and Adolf Ziegler in neighboring Germany. Magic Realism is closely related to the dreamlike depictions of Surrealism and Neo-Romanticism in France. The term is also used to describe the work of certain painters from across the pond in America in the 1940s and 1950s including Paul Cadmus, Philip Evergood and Ivan Albright. It has also been known to describe the practices of literature, such as the writing of Jorge Luis Borges and Gabriel García Márquez.

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