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Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1918, in Damprémy.

Painter. Designs for jewellery.

Rémi van den Abeele studied at the academy of fine art in Mons. In the Belgian Surrealist circle centring around the painters Magritte and Delvaux, the poet Mesens, and many other artists, Van den Abeele went practically unnoticed until the 1960s. His Surrealism arises from unexpected juxtapositions of different objects, based on the method used by the poet Lautréamont, the objects being painted in ...

Article

British, 20th century, female.

Born 1 December 1904, in Buenos Aires, to a Scottish father and an American mother; died 17 November 1991, in London.

Painter, collage artist.

Surrealism.

London Group, English Surrealist Group.

Eileen Agar trained initially under Leon Underwood, and subsequently under Henry Tonks at the Slade School of Art in London until 1926. Although flirting with Post-Impressionist techniques fashionable at that time, early works such as her ...

Article

Whitney Chadwick

(b Buenos Aires, Dec 1, 1899; d London, Nov 17, 1991).

English painter of Argentine birth. She arrived in England in 1906; in 1924 she studied with Leon Underwood (1890–1975), and she attended the Slade School of Fine Art, London, from 1925 to 1926; she also studied art in Paris from 1928 to 1930. She was a member of the London Group from 1933, and her work was selected by Roland Penrose and Herbert Read for the International Surrealist Exhibition at the New Burlington Galleries, London, in 1936. Agar exhibited with the Surrealists both in England and abroad. From 1936 she experimented with automatic techniques and new materials, taking photographs and making collages and objects, for example The Angel of Anarchy (fabric over plaster and mixed media, 1936–40; London, Tate). By the 1960s she was producing Tachist paintings with Surrealist elements.

with A. Lambirth: A Look at My Life (London, 1988) Eileen Agar: Retrospective Exhibition (exh. cat., London, Commonwealth Inst., 1971)...

Article

Belgian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1948, in Antwerp.

Painter, watercolourist, graphic designer. Figures.

Roger van Akelyn evokes the anguish inherent in the human condition, sometimes using quasi-surrealist imagery.

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born 1927, in Turin.

Painter.

Lorenzo Alessandri, noted for his depictions of scenes of atrocities, was a member of the Surrealist movement.

Article

Italian, 20th century, male.

Born in Turin.

Painter.

Enrico Alimandi trained only in painting. He stayed in Paris in 1928 and was a member of the Futurist movement from 1929 to 1932. He then became interested in Surrealism. He had solo exhibitions of his paintings in Turin (...

Article

Hungarian, 20th century, female.

Born 1913; died 1991.

Painter. Figure compositions.

Symbolism.

European School group.

The wife of Imre Amos, an important representative of the Surrealist trend in Hungary, Margit Anna had virtually the same career in her own painting. In her youth her paintings were in the Post-Impressionist tradition. Chagall's work influenced her with his poetry, linking the memory of childhood and the creation of fantasy. The search for childhood innocence prevails over the inspiration of fantasy, perhaps because the Surrealist model had faded for her with the death of her husband in ...

Article

Hajo Düchting

[Apollinaire de Kostrowitzky, Guillaume Albert Wladimir Alexandre]

(b Rome, Aug 26, 1880; d Paris, Nov 9, 1918).

French poet and writer. He loved to hint at his ‘dark’ origins: he was the illegitimate son of Angélique-Alexandrine Kostrowitzky, an eccentric beauty from a Polish noble family under the protection of the Roman Curia, and Francesco Flugi d’Aspermont, a former officer in the Royal Army of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. When the liaison ended Apollinaire was placed under the wing of the Bishop of Monaco, Monseigneur Theuret, and went through an exciting period of travel and education in Catholic schools on the French Riviera, where his mother had settled. Apollinaire liked to ascribe his genesis to a cardinal or even to Pope Pius IX himself.

While still a schoolboy, Apollinaire took a keen interest in literature and poetry, not only in the work of the Symbolists Stéphane Mallarmé (1842–98) and Paul Verlaine (1844–96) but also in the writings of the Naturalist school. In ...

Article

Henri Béhar

(b Paris, Oct 3, 1897; d Paris, Dec 24, 1982).

French writer. He took up writing as a career after studying medicine during World War I. He was mobilized in 1917 at the same time as his friend André Breton, with whom he had contributed poems to Pierre Reverdy’s Nord-Sud. His first critical article, ‘Du décor’, published in Le Film (16 Sept 1918), praised the novelty of the cinema and the aims of modern life, which he defined as progress, novelty of experience, liberty of artistic expression and inspiration of love. These were his main concerns when he founded the review Littérature (1919), together with Breton and the French writer Philippe Soupault. Fascinated by Tristan Tzara and by the collages of Max Ernst, he wrote his poems Feu de joie (Paris, 1920) and his parodic stories Anicet and Les Aventures de Télémaque (both Paris, 1922) under the influence of Dada, whose techniques he borrowed and to which he added his own insolence. Experimentation with subconscious motivations led to the formation of the ...

Article

Portuguese, 20th century, male.

Born 1934; died 1978.

Painter.

Conceptual Art.

Compared with other Portuguese artists, Antonio Areal was relatively isolated. After a period in which his work was Informel, yet close to the experiments in Surrealism, he wrote an important work on Conceptual Art....

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1928, in Braine-le-Comte; died 1974.

Painter.

Marcel Arnould was self-taught and at first painted Surrealist-style abstract pictures. He became a member of the Phases group founded by Édouard Jaguer and Jacques Lacomblez, whose ideas were closely aligned to those of CoBrA. Their aim was to try to 'confront the phases of reality by moving towards the imaginary that surrounds us everywhere'. He took part in the Biennale in Paris in ...

Article

Greta Stroeh

[Jean] (Peter Wilhelm)

(b Strassburg, Germany [now Strasbourg, France], Sept 16, 1886; d Basle, Switzerland, June 7, 1966).

French sculptor, painter, collagist, printmaker, and poet of German birth. The son of a German father and French Alsatian mother, he developed a cosmopolitan outlook from an early age and as a mature artist maintained close contact with the avant-garde throughout Europe. He was a pioneer of abstract art and one of the founders of Dada in Zurich, but he also participated actively in both Surrealism and Constructivism. While he prefigured junk art and the Fluxus movement in his incorporation of waste material, it was through his investigation of biomorphism and of chance and accident that he proved especially influential on later 20th-century art in liberating unconscious creative forces.

Following a brief period at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Strasbourg (1900–01), Arp received instruction from 1901 from a friend and neighbour, the painter and printmaker Georges Ritleng (1875–1972). He then attended the Kunstschule in Weimar (1904–7) and the Académie Julian in Paris (...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 16 September 1886, in Strasbourg; died 7 June 1966, in Basel.

Collage artist, engraver, sculptor, draughtsman, illustrator, poet.

Dadaism.

Der Moderne Bund, Dadaist groups in Zurich and Cologne, Artistes Radicaux, Das Neue Leben, Paris Surrealist Group, Abstraction-Création.

Hans Arp joined the École des Arts et Métiers in Strasbourg in 1902, at the age of 16. In 1903 he began painting and contributed to a local magazine. In 1904 he made his first trip to Paris. From 1905 to 1907 he studied under Ludwig von Hoffmann at the fine arts academy in Weimar, where he attended modern art exhibitions. He returned to Strasbourg, which his family then left for Weggis, on the edge of the Lac des Quatre Cantons in Switzerland. Between 1908 and 1910 he made a second trip to Paris and worked for a time at the Académie Julian. In Weggis he completed his first Abstract compositions and learned the art of modelling. In 1911 he co-founded the group...

Article

Paule Thévenin

[Antoine Marie Joseph]

(b Marseille, Sept 4, 1896; d Ivry-sur-Seine, March 4, 1948).

French writer, draughtsman, stage designer, actor and director . He learnt to draw and paint in 1918–19 while staying in an establishment near Neuchâtel where he had been sent suffering from a nervous complaint that had begun in 1914. There he was prescribed opium in May 1919. He arrived in Paris in the spring of 1920 and visited salons, galleries and studios, produced art criticism (see Oeuvres complètes, ii), continued to sketch small portraits of himself or his family and composed poems. In the atelier of Charles Dullin (1885–1949), where he trained as an actor, he was asked to design the costumes for several performances. Nevertheless, after an attempt in 1923 to paint the portrait of a young friend and her father, he abandoned painting and drawing. Through the painter Elie Lascaux (b 1888), whom he knew from Max Jacob’s circle, he met the art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler and the artists of his gallery. He became a friend of André Masson in particular and soon became a regular visitor at Masson’s studio in the Rue Blomet, then also frequented by other painters such as Joan Miró, Jean Dubuffet and Georges Malkine and visited by writers Robert Desnos (...

Article

Artes  

Anna Bentkowska

Group of Polish avant-garde artists active in Lwów (now Lviv, Ukraine) between 1929 and 1935, from 1933 known as ‘Neoartes’. Among its members were painters who studied in Lwów, Kraków and Paris: Otto Hahn (1904–42), Jerzy Janisch (1901–62), Henryk Streng (who after 1939 used the pseudonym Marek Włodarski), Margit Sielski (b 1903), Roman Sielski (b 1903), Mieczysław Wysocki (1899–1930), the self-taught painter Ludwik Lille (1897–1957) and the architect Aleksander Krzywobłocki (1901–79). Between 1930 and 1932 they held 11 exhibitions in Lwów, Warsaw and other cities. They searched for new, modern art, but they never defined it or formed any programme. Their art was heterogenous and covered various disciplines: painting, drawing, graphic art, collage and photomontage. Some of them were students of Léger and followed his style, but most of them moved towards Surrealism, for example ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 25 March 1899, in Antibes; died 10 July 1965, in Paris.

Painter, draughtsman.

A skilful draughtsman, Jacques Audiberti always represented in his graphic works a world teeming with references to Surrealist and Fantastic sources.

In 1999 the Galerie Belfond in Paris showed an important collection of the graphic works of Audiberti, writer, poet and playwright....

Article

Portuguese, 20th century, male.

Born 1923, in Oporto.

Painter.

Portuguese Surrealist group.

Fernando Azevedo graduated from the School of Decorative Arts and showed his work at an exhibition for the first time in 1947. As a member of the Portuguese Surrealist group, he participated in exhibitions in Lisbon in ...

Article

Ruth Rosengarten

(b Vila Nova de Gaia, Jan 17, 1923; d 2002).

Portuguese painter, graphic artist, critic and art administrator . In 1947 he was a founder-member of the Grupo Surrealista de Lisboa, with which he exhibited in 1949. By 1952 he was one of the few remaining members of the original group still involved in Surrealism. That year he held a large exhibition with two other artists, showing Occultations, photographs in which parts of the images were masked by overpainting. At the time he was more interested in the process of image-making, in the unconscious genesis of images and their internal rhythms, than in the result as an aesthetic object. From the mid-1950s, Azevedo’s paintings were almost entirely abstract and gestural, with greater overt affinities to lyrical abstraction than to automatism, for example Painting (1961; Lisbon, Mus. Gulbenkian). While in smaller works he often returned to the Surrealist use of collaged photographs introducing an element of shock or surprise, in his paintings there is an overriding interest in morphological dissolution and mutation, which remains lyrical rather than violent....

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Born 1916, in Düsseldorf.

Painter, watercolourist. Figures, genre scenes.

Bele Bachem was one of the first Surrealists.

Hamburg, 25 Nov 1961: Night-time Visit to the Clarinet Player, DEM 520

Cologne, 6 May 1978: Woman and Child (1954, oil/hardboard, 18½ × 15 ins/47 × 38 cm) ...

Article

French, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 13 July 1949, in Paris.

Painter, engraver.

Julius Baltazar evolved from the Surrealism of his early works towards a spontaneous abstraction, which was revived in the 1950s and 1960s, producing works which can be described as abstract landscape art. His paintings evoke wind, air, sea, sky, space and atmosphere, or more precisely any element which is suddenly interrupted by being ripped open, revealing a void, a blank in the middle of which he nervously makes inscriptions reminiscent of Chinese writing or a signature. His techniques, which make use of scraping, jets of water and paint runs, give an impression of movement in space and facilitate fading in and fading out in the manner of Zao Wou-Ki....