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Article

Elizabeth Ferrer

Mexican photographer. Álvarez Bravo’s interest in photography began in his adolescence while living in Mexico City in the 1910s, the years of the Mexican Revolution. He left school at the age of 13 to help support his family but pursued his creative interests by studying foreign photography magazines and receiving instruction from the German photographer based in Mexico, Hugo Brehme. Álvarez Bravo’s earliest images, made with a large-format Graflex camera, reflected the romantic pictorialist mode identified with Brehme’s generation. By ...

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Active also in France.

Born 1902 , in Kattowitz, Germany (now Katowice, Poland); died 24 February 1975 , in Paris.

Photographer, Painter (gouache), sculptor, engraver, draughtsman, illustrator. Portraits.

Surrealist group.

Raised in a family of engineers, Hans Bellmer trained as a technical draughtsman at the polytechnic college in Berlin ...

Article

Peter Webb

German photographer, sculptor, printmaker, painter, and writer. As a child he developed fear and hatred for his tyrannical father, who totally dominated his gentle and affectionate mother. He and his younger brother Fritz found refuge from this oppressive family atmosphere in a secret garden decorated with toys and souvenirs and visited by young girls who joined in sexual games. In ...

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Active since 1961 active in France.

Born 26 April 1922, in Haine-St-Pierre; died 27 September 2005, in Paris.

Sculptor, collage artist, photomontage artist, monotype artist, illustrator. Designs for jewellery, monuments.

Kinetic Art.

Groups: Hainaut Surrealist group, Haute Nuit, Madí, CoBrA.

Pol Bury first stayed in France between 1929 and 1932. In 1938 he attended the academy of fine arts in Mons. In 1940 he made his debut in Surrealism with a journal entitled ...

Article

French, 20th century, female.

Born 25 October 1894, in Nantes, France; died 8 December 1954, in Isle of Jersey, UK.

Writer, photographer. Self-portraits, portraits. Photomontages.

Surrealism.

Active in England.

Artist Claude Cahun was born into family of Jewish intellectuals with a rich literary tradition. Cahun devised her pseudonym using the last name of her great uncle Léon Cahun, and her earliest publications demonstrate an interest in Symbolism perhaps instilled by the writings of her uncle, Marcel Schwob. However, through her relationship with life-partner Marcel Moore, the pseudonym of Suzanne Malherbe, she honed her artistic voice. Cahun produced her seminal work, ...

Article

Meghan E. Grossman

Fashion photography is the use of photography to communicate the latest trends in clothing. It has a long and distinctive history in Europe and the USA, and is now practised around the world. Fashion photography acts as a representation of popular taste and is created to serve a commercial industry, yet it has also served as an avenue for change, pushing the boundaries of acceptability with innovations in style, technique, and the portrayal of fashion. Fashion photography was a democratizing force in the acceptance of photography in the West, as it brought the new form of expression to an audience of every social level, rich or poor, urban or suburban. Via mass media, photography serves to relate changes in fashion over long distances and many cultures, globally disseminating the styles of high fashion....

Article

Robert Saltonstall Mattison

American sculptor, painter, and photographer. Throughout his career he was devoted to Surrealist ideas. He had no formal training, but at schools in New York, Colorado, and California he graduated in biology and chemistry, which may have influenced his interest in primal origins and the biomorphic shapes in his sculptures and paintings. He worked briefly as a commercial photographer in New York around ...

Article

Czech, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1914, in Chrást; died 1953, in Paris.

Collage artist, photomontage artist.

Prague Surrealist group.

Jindrich Heisler was a member of the Surrealist group in Prague. He came as a refugee to France, where he met André Breton and the Surrealists. He was also a poet, and sometimes illustrated his writings. Heisler worked with the artists Toyen and Styrsky, and produced many collages and typographic compositions as well as a number of photomontages. He participated in the international Surrealist exhibition at the Galerie Maeght in Paris....

Article

British, 20th century, male.

Born 19 August 1907, in Walberswick (Suffolk); died 24 September 1950, in Poros, Greece, as the result of an accident.

Painter (mixed media), filmmaker, theatre designer, photographer, poet.

English Surrealist Group.

Humphrey Jennings was a noted English filmmaker and photographer. He was active with the English Surrealists until ...

Article

New Zealander, 20th century, male.

Active from 1944 in the USA.

Born 1901, in Christchurch; died 1980, in New York.

Sculptor, filmmaker.

Kinetic Art.

7&5 Society, English Surrealist Group.

Len Lye travelled to Samoa in 1923, to study the aesthetic use of movement in Oceanian and Pacific art. He settled in London in ...

Article

Tirza Latimer

French photographer and painter. Maar’s father was Croatian and her mother was from La Touraine in western France. She grew up in Argentina, where her father practised architecture, and was repatriated in 1926 to study at the Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs, Ecole de Photographie and the Académie Julien in Paris. In the early 1930s she set up her first photography studio with her collaborator, Pierre Kéfer, sharing the darkroom with Georges Brassaï....

Article

Style of painting popular in Europe and the USA mainly from the 1920s to 1940s, with some followers in the 1950s. It occupies a position between Surrealism and Photorealism, whereby the subject is rendered with a photographic naturalism, but where the use of flat tones, ambiguous perspectives, and strange juxtapositions suggest an imagined or dreamed reality. The term was introduced by art historian ...

Article

Anneke E. Wijnbeek

Belgian painter, draughtsman, printmaker, sculptor, photographer and film maker. He was one of the major figures of Surrealism and perhaps the greatest Belgian artist of the 20th century (see Les Promenades d’Euclid, 1955). His work, while lacking the drama of conventional stylistic development, continued to be admired during the later years of his life, in spite of changes in fashion, and can be said to have continued to grow in popularity and critical esteem after his death....

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1920, in Antwerp; died 1993.

Collage artist, photomontage artist, writer, photographer, film maker.

Brussels Surrealist Group, Hainaut Surrealist Group.

Marcel Mariën was a self-taught artist who started out in 1934-1936 as an apprentice photographer. He went on to work as an apprentice stockbroker. In ...

Article

French, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 8 December 1861; died 1938, in Orly.

Film maker, draughtsman.

Méliès made more than 4,000 films. As a draughtsman, his unusual drawings in a pre-Surrealist spirit were a precursor of animated cartoons.

Lefebvre, Thierry: ‘Méliès la tempête optique’ in ...

Article

Mary Christian

American photographer. She studied art briefly in Paris, before studying painting, theatrical design, and lighting at the Art Students League in New York (1927–8). From 1927 she worked as a model, Fashion photography, and writer for Vogue. Between 1929 and 1932 she lived with ...

Article

Montage  

Tom Williams

Term that refers to the technique of organizing various images into a single composition in both film and visual art. It is also frequently applied to musical and literary works that emphasize fragmentation and paratactic construction. In film, the term typically refers to the organization of individual shots to create a larger structure or narrative. This technique was developed most systematically by the film makers of the 1920s Russian avant-garde such as Sergey Eisenstein (...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1961.

Assemblage artist, installation artist, video artist. Multimedia.

Conceptual Art.

Françoise Quardon works by collating, modifying and personalising. She refers to her Surrealist installations as 'psycho objects' and to her exhibits as 'psycho bric-a-brac' which reveals her emotions and her occasionally troubled sense of self....

Article

Ingrid Severin

Austrian painter, printmaker and photographer. He began painting as a self-taught artist in the mid-1940s, after leaving school, and first came into contact with contemporary art through a British Council exhibition in 1947 that included work by Paul Nash, Francis Bacon, Stanley Spencer, Henry Moore and Edward Burra. Around this time he produced his first portraits, such as ...

Article

Man Ray  

Merry A. Foresta

American photographer and painter. He was brought up in New York, and he adopted the pseudonym Man Ray as early as 1909. He was one of the leading spirits of Dada and Surrealism and the only American artist to play a prominent role in the launching of those two influential movements (...