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Article

Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Born 1928.

Painter. Scenes with figures.

A follower of the Surrealist painter, Juán Battle Planas, Aizenberg took up experiments in collage undertaken by Max Ernst. He created small pictures that present minuscule figures contemplating the dusk from high terraces in unknown towns in vast landscapes with infinite horizons. He used grey or gilt tonalities, which makes his canvases more intimate and secret....

Article

Horacio Safons

(b Federal, Entre Ríos, Aug 22, 1928; d Buenos Aires, Feb 19, 1996).

Argentine painter, draftsman, and collagist. He studied under Juan Batlle Planas from 1950 to 1953 and quickly established the terms of his work, rooted ideologically in Surrealism and indebted in particular to the work of René Magritte and Giorgio de Chirico. All the elements of his mature art are evident in an early painting, Burning of the Hasidic School in Minsk in 1713 (1954; artist’s col.): architecture, space, light, and ordered series. He developed an essentially intellectual approach, working in a variety of media (paintings, drawings, gouaches, and collages) in rigorous sequences and picturing objects in cold impersonal light that confers on them a sense of distant majesty. The most common motif is that of a geometric, almost abstract, structure, often in the form of a tower pierced by rows of large plain windows. Aizenberg’s work, while far removed from the Surrealist presumption of achieving a synthesis of wakefulness and dream, acquires its strength through the ordering of the unreal and the strange in the search for a transcendent essence capable of perturbing and jolting the viewer by bringing into play the archetypes of silence and solitude....

Article

Elizabeth Ferrer

(b Mexico City, Feb 4, 1902; d Mexico City, Oct 19, 2002).

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 1925, however, he turned to a modernist aesthetic inspired by the photographs Edward Weston made in Mexico in the mid-1920s as well as those of Tina Modotti, who accompanied Weston and remained in the country until 1930. During this era Álvarez Bravo came to know Modotti as well as the artists who led Mexico’s cultural renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s, including Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and Rufino Tamayo. Also central to this circle was ...

Article

Brazilian, 20th century, male.

Born 1914; died 1972.

Painter.

Oswald de Andrade was probably the son of the writer and art theorist, Mario de Andrade. His art, which reveals Surrealist lyricism and folkloric fantasy, has been likened to that of Chagall.

Article

Chilean, 20th century, male.

Born 1913, in La Serena.

Painter.

A painter and a poet, Arénas took part in two Surrealist exhibitions that he organised himself in 1941 and 1948.

Article

Chilean, 20th century, male.

Born 1923; died 1949.

Painter.

Chilian Surrealist group.

Jorge Cáceres participated in the activities of the Chilean Surrealist group from the age of 15. He was also a poet.

Article

Ricardo Pau-Llosa

(b Havana, Jan 5, 1934; d Paris, Mar 30, 2011).

Cuban painter. A self-taught artist, he forsook law studies in 1952 to dedicate himself to painting and held his first individual exhibition in the Galería Cubana in Havana in 1955. In 1959 he settled in Paris, where he became an important figure in the circle of Latin American émigré artists. In 1961 he met André Breton and joined what was left of the Surrealist group.

Camacho derived his stylized organic forms from the quasi-abstract Surrealism of Yves Tanguy, and his totemistic images from Wifredo Lam. Gradually he integrated into his complex and enigmatic art other interests such as alchemy, jazz, and flamenco, as well as the bird life of French Guiana and Venezuela (which he studied at first hand in 1974 and 1975), as in, for example, Bird, Night (1980; Mario Amignet priv. col., see Fuentes Pérez and others 1987). His subtle tropes and allusions had a particularly strong appeal to poets such as ...

Article

Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Active also active in France.

Born 1937.

Painter, draughtsman, watercolourist, engraver.

Camporeale's art lies somewhere between Hyperrealism and Surrealism, showing designs marked by such extreme accuracy in some of the compositions that they look unbalanced. The world he portrays is disturbing, disenchanted, unhealthy. Using concrete images, he transforms reality into productions that are detailed to the point of paroxysm, hence his espousal of German ...

Article

Ricardo Pau-Llosa

(b Matanzas, Apr 10, 1927; d Havana, Feb 9, 2001).

Cuban sculptor, active in France. He studied under Juan José Sicre, and at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes “San Alejandro” in Havana (1943–1949). He settled in Paris in 1955 and became involved with the Surrealists. He also started to consider his African heritage and to incorporate Dogon totems in his work (e.g. Sanedrac, 1957; bronze cast, 1974; see Pierre 1988, p. 5). Brancusi and Arp were significant influences, and affinities can also be traced between Cárdenas’s use of line to evoke magical transformations and the works of two other Cubans based in Paris, Wifredo Lam and Jorge Camacho. Working in marble, bronze, and stone, he often used familiar images such as birds, flowers, or the female nude as the bases for his lyrical abstractions (e.g. Engraved Torso, marble, 1976; see Pierre 1988, p. 22). The combination of these images of life with patterns suggesting infinite repetition became a central element in his work and constitute a synthesis of abstraction and reference. He undertook monumental commissions in France, Israel, Austria, Japan, and Canada, and his works are housed in collections worldwide, including the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Caracas, the Musée d’Ixelles, Bruxelles, and the Musée d’Art et d’Industrie, Saint Etienne, France....

Article

Jorge Alberto Manrique

(b Clayten Green, nr Chorley, Lancashire, April 6, 1917; d Mexico City, May 25, 2011).

Mexican painter, sculptor and writer of English birth. In 1936 she travelled to London, where she studied under Amédée Ozenfant and in 1937 met Max(imilian) Ernst, with whom she became involved artistically and romantically, leading to her association with Surrealism. They moved to Paris together in 1937. At the outbreak of World War II, Ernst was interned as an enemy alien, and Carrington escaped to Spain, where she was admitted to a private clinic after having a nervous breakdown; she later recounted the experience in her book En bas (1943). After marrying the Mexican poet Renato Leduc in 1941 (a marriage of convenience), she spent time in New York before settling in Mexico in 1942, devoting herself to painting. There she and Remedios Varo developed an illusionistic Surrealism combining autobiographical and occult symbolism. Having divorced Leduc in 1942, in 1946 she married the Hungarian photographer Imre Weisz.

Carrington remained committed to Surrealism throughout her career, filling her pictures with strange or fantastic creatures in surprising situations, notably horses, which appear in ...

Article

Mexican, 20th century, male.

Born 1938.

Painter.

To link Alfredo Castañeda's work to Surrealism would be no more than a rough approximation. A good number of his paintings, completed at different times, feature a man's face, painted in a traditional manner slightly reminiscent of Goya, its expression impassive rather than questioning. It occupies the bottom of the picture, sometimes surmounted by a fabric hanging that floats like a flag, and sometimes by a speech bubble, either empty or containing the title of the painting - if there is one: ...

Article

Cuban, 20th century, male.

Painter.

Vasquez's work was featured in the exhibition organised by Patrick Waldberg in Brussels in 1969 devoted to a Surrealist revival.

Article

Nelly Perazzo

(b Buenos Aires, Sept 6, 1930).

Argentine painter. A self-taught artist, in 1952 he began working in a Surrealist style, finding in it a profound impetus that decisively affected the later direction of his work. In 1957 he became a member of the Siete Pintores Abstractos, hinting at the oscillations in his art between geometric abstraction on the one hand and subconscious, fantastic, and irrational imagery on the other. In 1962 he painted the first of his Bestiaries, in which he created a world of hallucinatory creatures such as Ghelderade (1963; Buenos Aires, Mus. N. B.A.).

From 1972 Chab painted apparently abstract pictures in which one can discern suggestions of objects and organic forms. By 1977 his works again tended more to the geometric, with a suggestively poetic atmosphere, as in Axial Figure (1975; Buenos Aires, Mus. A. Contemp.). In the series of Landscapes that he exhibited in 1984 he returned to a pictorial language reminiscent of ...

Article

Haitian, 20th century, male.

Active in France since 1974.

Born 25 June 1945, in Jacmel.

Painter.

Etzer Charles lives and works in Paris. He works in a Surrealist spirit, introducing objects into his paintings.

He has taken part in collective exhibitions since 1965: Salon des Artistes Français, Paris (...

Article

Brazilian, 20th century, male.

Born 1925, in São Paulo.

Painter.

Cid de Souza Pinto gave up his career as a electrical engineer to devote himself to painting. Typographical characters are often incorporated in his Surrealist paintings.

Article

Cuban, 20th century, male.

Born 1943, in Cuba.

Painter.

Julio Herrera-Zapata's work shows the legacy of Cubism and Surrealism; he can be described as a metaphysical realist. Around 1973 his style changed and he began to combine on the same canvas elements of almost photographic realism with other more blurred elements, as if depicting movement....

Article

(b Paris, July 11, 1906; d Paris, June 1974).

French writer and collagist. He spent his childhood in Argentina, moving to Paris at the age of 16. He greatly admired Dada, which was by then largely exhausted in Paris. In 1928 he collaborated with Henri d’Arche on the film La Perle and soon after became involved in Surrealism, joining the group in 1930. He met many of its members, including André Breton, Paul Eluard, Miró and Yves Tanguy, who regularly gathered at his bookshop in the Boulevard Montparnasse. He was mainly occupied as a poet and writer, though he also took part in other Surrealist activities such as producing collages. He participated in the Surrealist exhibition at the Galerie Pierre Colle in Paris (1933) and also in the International Surrealist Exhibition at the New Burlington Galleries, London (1936). During his association with Surrealism, Hugnet became one of the movement’s chief apologists. He contributed articles to the catalogue of the ...

Article

Mexican, 20th century, female.

Born 6 July 1907, in Coyoacán (Mexico City); died 13 July 1954, in Coyoacán (Mexico City).

Painter, lithographer. Portraits, figure compositions, allegorical subjects.

Surrealism.

Frida Kahlo was Hispano-Indian on her mother’s side and German on her father’s. She met Diego Rivera when he was painting a mural at the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria, where she was a student. They married in 1929 and, like Rivera, she became passionately interested in revolutionary politics. She had contracted polio at the age of six and never fully recovered the use of her right leg. In 1925, she also suffered a serious bus accident and became permanently physically handicapped as a result. It was during her convalescence that she began to paint....

Article

(b Mexico City, Jul 6, 1907; d Mexico City, Jul 13, 1954).

Mexican painter. Frida Kahlo was born in the district of Coyoacán in Mexico City and has become widely recognized for her particular interpretation of Mexican themes. She has also become an icon for women painters for her pungent and complex display of the feminine world. Since the 1980s, her paintings and drawings have been in broad-ranging retrospective exhibitions, such as the Tate in London (2005) or the Gropiusbau in Berlin (2010). Several exhibitions focused on the works of Kahlo and her husband, Diego Rivera, such as the one at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (2018).

The catalogs accompanying these exhibitions include the latest research about her pictorial work in contrast with the few public displays she participated in when she was still alive, almost always with two or three works among them: El sobreviviente (Survivor, 1938) and Entre las cortina...

Article

Ronald Alley

(b Sagua la Grande, Dec 8, 1902; d Paris, Sept 11, 1982).

Cuban painter, draftsman, and sculptor. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic but was also introduced at an early age to African superstitions and witchcraft. In 1916 he moved to Havana, where he began to make studies of the tropical plants in the Botanical Gardens while studying law at the insistence of his family. He studied painting at the Escuela de Bellas Artes from 1918 to 1923 but disliked the academic teaching and preferred to paint out of doors, in the streets. He left for Spain in autumn 1923, remaining there until 1938. In the mornings he attended the studio of the reactionary painter Fernando Alvarez de Sotomayor, curator of the Prado, who was also the teacher of Salvador Dalí, but in the evenings he worked in the studio where the young non-conformist painters gathered. He was fascinated by the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel I in the Prado and by the Museo Arqueológico Nacional; it was during this period that he also became aware of the work of Paul Cézanne and Paul Gauguin. His early pictures were in the modern Spanish realist tradition (e.g. ...