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Article

American, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1963.

Painter, draughtsman, collage artist, illustrator.

David Aronson, drawn to occultism, paints Surrealistically absurd images, which are sometimes frightening or disturbing. He has produced a set of paintings on the subject of the Holocaust. He also illustrates works for young readers....

Article

Bio Art  

Suzanne Anker

From Anatomical studies to landscape painting to the Biomorphism of Surrealism, the biological realm historically provided a significant resource for numerous artists. More recently, Bio Art became a term referring to intersecting domains that comprise advances in the biological sciences and their incorporation into the plastic arts. Of particular importance in works of Bio Art is to summon awareness of the ways in which the accelerating biomedical sciences alter social, ethical and cultural values in society....

Article

François-Marc Gagnon

Canadian painter. He studied with the artist Ozias Leduc and from 1923 to 1927 at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Montreal. After a short stay in Paris (1928–30), he lived in Montreal until 1941, when he moved to Saint-Hilaire. As a result of the Depression, Borduas was unable to continue the career of church decorator, for which his training with Leduc had prepared him, and found work as an art teacher. His appointment at the Ecole de Meuble, Montreal, in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 15 March 1918, in Rockford (Illinois).

Painter.

Richard Bowman studied at the Chicago Art Institute from 1938 to 1942. He exhibited from 1941, taking part in group exhibitions of abstract and Surrealist art. In 1953, he took part in the São Paulo Biennale, and, in ...

Article

Philip Cooper

American sculptor, film maker and writer. Cornell studied from 1917 to 1921 at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. After leaving the Academy he took a job as a textile salesman for the William Whitman Company in New York, which he retained until 1931. During this time his interest in the arts developed greatly. Through art reviews and exhibitions he became acquainted with late 19th-century and contemporary art; he particularly admired the work of ...

Article

American painter and sculptor of Italian birth. He studied economics at the Università degli Studi, Pavia, and in 1934 moved to the USA, where he attended the New School for Social Research and the Art Students’ League in New York. His first one-man shows were in New York in ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1916, in New York.

Painter.

Ronnie Elliott held solo exhibitions in Paris in 1948 and 1952, then in the USA in New York. He was initially influenced by the Impressionism of Cézanne, then in 1937 by the Surrealists. He evolved towards the abstract style of Kandinsky and Mondrian and from ...

Article

Mona Hadler

American painter of German birth. His father was the prominent Surrealist artist Max(imilian) Ernst and his mother was the art historian and journalist Louise [Lou] Straus-Ernst. In 1935 he was apprenticed as a typographer in the printing firm of J. J. Augustin in Glückstadt where he set type for anthropological studies. The company worked to attain a visa for Ernst, whose mother was Jewish, and he departed Germany one week before Kristallnacht in ...

Article

Malcolm Gee

German painter, printmaker, and sculptor, naturalized American in 1948 and French in 1958. He was a major contributor to the theory and practice of Surrealism (see Two Children Are Threatened by a Nightingale, 1924). His work challenged and disrupted what he considered to be repressive aspects of European culture, in particular Christian doctrine, conventional morality, and the aesthetic codes of Western academic art. Until the mid-1920s he was little known outside a small circle of artists and writers in Cologne and Paris, but he became increasingly successful from ...

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

African American painter. As a self-taught artist who has been labeled a southern folk artist, outsider artist, a Surrealist painter and a visionary, Evans created highly personal works inspired by her private and very vivid dream world.

The descendant of a Trinidadian woman brought to the United States as a slave, Evans was the only child of farmers who lived in rural Pender County, NC. In early childhood she moved with her parents to Wilmington, NC, where she attended school. At 16 she married Julius Evans and had three sons. She worked as a domestic and later as gatekeeper at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington (from ...

Article

American, 20th century, female.

Born 1919.

Painter.

Magic Realism.

Along with artists Marshall Glasier, John Wilde, Karl Preibe, Dudley Huppler and Gertrude Abercrombie, Sylvia Fein contributed to a Midwestern form of surrealism known as Magic Realism . Unlike the very cerebral and intellectual strain of Surrealism cultivated in Europe, the Midwestern Magic Realists conceived a comparatively primitive aesthetic that was less concerned with dreams than with narrative and symbolic fantasy....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born in the second half of the 19th century.

Engraver.

John Fenton exhibited in New York from 1958. His engravings are symbolic, often doom-laden, sometimes leaning towards a kind of Surrealism.

Article

Harry Rand

American painter of Armenian birth. One of the most illustrious artists of the post-war New York School, he began his life in possibly the most obscure circumstances of any international modern master. His father emigrated to the USA to avoid conscription into the Turkish Army in World War I; in the Turkish persecution of the Armenians, Gorky’s mother died in her son’s arms after a 120-mile march. With his sister (who later figured prominently in his paintings) Gorky made his way to the coast and then, by ship, to the USA, arriving at New York in ...

Article

Adam M. Thomas

American painter of Italian origin. After residing in Europe, his family relocated to New York in 1914. Guglielmi studied at the National Academy of Design from 1920 to 1925 and became a naturalized citizen in 1927. He arrived at his first mature painting style in the early 1930s. Guglielmi was among the principal practitioners of Social Surrealism, an American variant of European Surrealist art that adapted some of its imagery and techniques but eschewed its sexual symbolism and psychic automatism. Guglielmi rooted his pictures in the physical world in order to address social and political issues but, unlike Social Realism, did so through the use of unexpected or irrational juxtapositions and disorienting variations in scale. Although Guglielmi was not actively engaged in politics, many of his paintings contain expressly political, if sometimes ambiguous, content, such as ...

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

English printmaker, draughtsman and painter, active in France and the USA. He came from a family of painters, including George Hayter, but started his career by studying chemistry and geology at King’s College, London (1917–21). After graduating he worked in the Persian Gulf for several years for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. In ...

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1928, in Illinois; died 2003.

Painter.

Ted Joans travelled widely in Europe and Africa. He lived in Timbuktu and then in Tangier. He held a number of solo exhibitions of his work.

The only true black Surrealist, he found out about this movement from magazines at a very early age. He was also influenced by jazz, Abstract Expressionism and the rhinoceros figure that haunts his creations. He made collages, wrote and played the trumpet, announcing the 'odious end of a world that petrifies black laughter' (Benayoum)....

Article

American, 20th century, male.

Born 1914, in Warren (Minnesota); died 2004.

Painter.

Gerome Kamrowski was already familiar with the novel creation processes with which the French Surrealists were experimenting before World War II, including automatism. In the winter of 1940-1941, he collaborated with William Baziotes and Jackson Pollock on several canvases, some of which prefigured the latter's ...

Article

Mark Haworth-Booth

American designer and painter, active in England. He studied painting first, at evening classes at the Mark Hopkins Institute, San Francisco (1910–12), at the Art Institute of Chicago, with lettering (1912), and in Paris at the Académie Moderne (1913–14). In ...

Article

Leland M. Roth and Gordon Campbell

American architect, stage designer, furniture designer and writer of Austrian birth. In 1920 he worked with Adolf Loos in Vienna. He was also in contact with the artists associated with De Stijl and began experimenting with innovative theatre designs. In 1924 he produced the Endless Theatre design. The ‘Endless’ was a double-curved shell of reinforced concrete that could enclose any irregularly traditional divisions into floor, wall, and ceiling but offered the inhabitant an open interior that could be modified at will. For the theatre he adapted the ‘Endless’ by devising a double-spiral stage interconnected by ramps and rings of spectator seats. Kiesler believed that the Endless Theatre, without proscenium or curtain, projecting out into the audience, with perpetually moving walls bathed in light of ever changing colour, would promote greater interaction between actors and audience....