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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

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

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

French, 20th century, male.

Born 30 April 1942, in Villefranche-d'Albigeois (Tarn).

Painter, mixed media.

A self-taught artist, Robert Barthez began painting in 1971. He produces abstract canvases with Surrealist leanings, impregnating objects, materials, grasses, leaves, wheels and scrap iron with paint in order to leave marks which he then uses and interprets according to the associations they have for him....

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1929, in Neuilly; died 1996, in Paris.

Assemblage artist.

Phases group.

Jean-Louis Bédouin participated in the activities of the Surrealist movement from 1947 and started making assemblages in 1972 which he called 'disoriented objects'; they were made of objects found on the beaches of the island of Oléron. He collaborated with Édouard Jaguer in the ...

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.

Coming to the fore in the early 1990s Bio Art is neither media specific nor locally bounded. It is an international movement with practitioners in such regions as Europe, the US, Russia, Australia and the Americas. Several subgenres of Bio Art exist within this overarching term:

(i) Artists who employ the iconography of the 20th and 21st century sciences, including molecular and cellular genetics, transgenically altered living matter and reproductive technologies as well as the diverse fields of neuroscience. All traditional media such as painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking and drawing are employed to convey novel ways of representing life forms. Images of chromosomes, the double helix, magnetic resonance imaging body scans and neuroanatomy comprise this iconography. The molecular underpinnings of the living world have also become visible through high technological instrumentation when artists incorporate such pictorialisations as part of their practice. Representations span both genotypic variations and phenotypic ones. Artists include Suzanne Anker (...

Article

German, 20th century, male.

Active from 1937 active in France.

Born 8 March 1904, in Frankfurt am Main; died 1998.

Painter (including mixed media/gouache), watercolourist, pastellist, lithographer.

Surrealist group.

Francis Bott started out as a journalist and art critic, but left his native Germany when the Nazis came to power in 1933. He sought refuge first in Austria, then in former Czechoslovakia. He began painting only in 1936, on the advice of Oskar Kokoschka. In 1937 he moved to Yugoslavia and from there to Paris, where he settled indefinitely. In 1939 he frequented Surrealist circles. On the outbreak of World War II he enlisted in the French army. He spent the war years in exile or serving in the provinces, but returned to Paris in 1944....

Article

Romanian, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 15 June 1903, in Piatra Neamt; died 12 March 1966, in Paris.

Painter (including mixed media), watercolourist, pastellist, sculptor, ceramicist, engraver, draughtsman. Figures, portraits, landscapes, animals.

Surrealist group.

Victor Brauner's father ran a sawmill in Piatra Neamt, a small village in the Carpathian mountains in Romania. Brauner said that his childhood was marked by the atmosphere of a 'small village by the edge of a river', where he watched 'giant tree trunks, tied into rafts, on which people lived as they went down the river'. As a child, he witnessed the spiritualist sessions in which his father participated. After a brief stay in Vienna where he began his schooling and a trip down the Danube, he was back in Romania where he was drafted into compulsory work from 1916 to 1918. A pupil at the Braila evangelical school, he developed a passion for zoology and painted in the Belu cemetery in Bucharest. Between 1921 and 1923, he took courses at the fine arts school and the free academy in Bucharest, then spent time by the Black Sea in Falticeni and Balchík, where he painted his 'Cézannian landscapes'. In 1924, he founded the review ...

Article

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 1936, in Boom.

Painter, sculptor of assemblages, installation artist.

Camiel Van Breedam exhibited principally in Belgium, notably in Brussels in 1991. He is not formally aligned with the Surrealists, although their influence suffuses his work, which bristles with strange objects and disturbing images. Van Breedam has also produced what he terms assemblages (assemblies) and environnements (environments)....

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1907, in Nantes; died 8 May 1977, in Paris.

Painter (gouache/mixed media), watercolourist, engraver, draughtsman, illustrator.

Surrealist group.

Attracted by the Surrealist milieu, Camille Bryen gave up telegraphy in Nantes to go to Paris in 1926. Apparently, he was invited by André Breton. In 1927, he published his first collection of poetry, ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 30 June 1906, in Ste-Croix-Hague (Manche); died 1992.

Engraver, collage artist, sculptor, poet.

Revolutionary Surrealism group.

Max Bucaille was inspired by the collages of Max Ernst that he found in old magazines when he was a student at the Sorbonne in the Faculty of Science. He was a mathematics teacher at the lycée in Creteil and published collections of poetry, collages and reproductions of his gouaches 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

French, 20th century, female.

Born in the Jura.

Painter.

Champion's abstract compositions create a dream-like atmosphere not unrelated to the Surrealist imagination. In 1964, she took part in the exhibition Fifty Years of Collage ( Cinquante Ans de Collages), held at the Musée de St-Étienne and then at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. She was invited to exhibit at the Salon de Mai, notably in ...

Article

Spanish, 20th century, male.

Born 1908, in Os de Balaguer near Lérida; died 19 August 1998, in Lérida.

Sculptor of assemblages, draughtsman.

ADLAN Group, Paris Surrealist group.

Cristofol, initially apprenticed as a carpenter and cabinet maker, was at the same time learning how to draw, but in fact started off as a sculptor. During the early 1930s he frequented the avant-garde artistic milieux of Barcelona. In ...

Article

Portuguese, 20th century, male.

Born 1920, in Amadora near Lisbon.

Painter (including gouache), collage artist, assemblage artist, illustrator.

Groups: Os Surrealistas, Phases group.

From 1935, Artur Cruzeiro Seixas studied at the Escola de Artes Decorativas Antonio Arroio in Lisbon. He mingled in Lisbon's avant-garde art circles during the war and attended the gatherings at the Herminius Café in ...

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1913, in Toulouse.

Painter (mixed media), draughtsman.

Adrien Dax was a revolutionary activist, which brought him into contact with the Surrealist movement, although he did not formally join it until 1949. He has refused to countenance a pictorial career, and works in total solitude....

Article

French, 20th century, male.

Born 28 July 1887 , in Blainville; died 2 October 1968 , in Paris.

Painter (including gouache/mixed media), sculptor, printmaker, Ready-mades.

Dadaism, Surrealism.

Groupe de Puteaux, Société Anonyme, New York Dada.

Marcel Duchamp was one of seven children, four of whom were destined to become artists - Marcel himself, his brothers Gaston and Raymond (who came to be known as Jacques Villon and Duchamp-Villon, respectively), and his sister the painter Suzanne Duchamp, who later married Jean Crotti....

Article

Spanish, 20th century, male.

Active in France from 1937, then in the USA.

Born 1914, in Port Bou (Catalonia); died 1976, in Barcelona.

Painter (mixed media).

Paris Surrealist group.

Soon after arriving in Paris, Esteban Frances was involved with the Surrealists. During World War II he took refuge in the USA and eventually settled there....