Abstraction of a surreal scene can serve as a reminder of the painting/drawing's artificial nature, and act as a buffer that keeps the viewer from full immersion in the imagined world. The surreal becomes a bit more cartoonish. An artist might use outlines, minimal indication of form, or flat shapes to allow the viewer to maintain a distance. These same elements might be employed to simply emphasize the artist’s abstract aesthetics.
Bringing together the surreal with abstraction can be used to great effect for humorous scenes or to provide a tolerable way to experience high drama or horrific scenes. It can also be used by an artist to make clear that the alternate realm being depicted has nothing to do with our usual, three dimensional reality... that it is something else entirely, or that it is simply make believe.
Featured: Fish Magic by Paul Klee.