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Arp, Hans, Later Jean  

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

Bucaille, Max  

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

Cahun, Claude  

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

Colquhoun, Ithell  

British, 20th century, female.

Born 9 October 1906, in Shillong (Assam), India; died 11 April 1988, in Lamorna (Cornwall), in a studio fire.

Painter, poet, writer. Figure compositions, portraits, landscapes, flowers.

English Surrealist Group, Newlyn School.

Ithell Colquhoun studied at Cheltenham School of Arts and Crafts and London's Slade School of Art. In ...

Article

Deux, Fred  

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1 July 1924, in Boulogne-Billancourt.

Draughtsman, writer.

Surrealist group.

Fred Deux was largely a self-taught artist. He was a pupil at the École des Arts et Métiers and then worked in a factory as an unskilled worker. He worked for the Resistance and was a member of a unit of 'Goums Marocains'. When he returned to Marseilles in ...

Article

Duprey, Jean-Pierre  

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1 January 1930, in Rouen; died 2 October 1959, in Paris.

Sculptor, painter, poet.

Phases group.

Jean-Pierre Duprey moved to Paris in 1948 where he became involved in the Surrealist movement. His book, Behind One's Double ( Derrière son double...

Article

Jaguer, Édouard  

French, 20th century, male.

Born 1924, in Paris.

Painter, writer, art critic.

Phases group.

Édouard Jaguer is best known for his activities as a man of letters and as a tireless defender of the Surrealist cause. He participated in the activities of La Main à Plume...

Article

Jennings, Humphrey  

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

Lebel, Jean-Jacques  

French, 20th century, male.

Born 30 June 1936, in Neuilly-sur-Seine.

Painter, draughtsman, poet, sculptor, assemblage artist, installation artist, performance artist.

Neo-Dadaism, Visual Poetry.

Surrealist group.

At the age of 15, Jean-Jacques Lebel, whose father was an art specialist, was exchanging letters with André Breton and mixing with the Surrealists (he was later excluded, with Alain Jouffroy, in ...

Article

Mariën, Marcel  

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

Mellor, Oscar  

British, 20th century, male.

Born 7 June 1921, in Manchester; died 2005.

Painter, poet, publisher.

Birmingham Surrealist Group.

Oscar Mellor moved with his parents to Birmingham in 1939. He studied part-time at Birmingham School of Art and became associated with Conroy Maddox and the Birmingham Surrealist Group...

Article

Mesens, Édouard Léon Théodore  

Belgian, 20th century, male.

Born 27 November 1903, in Brussels; died 13 May 1971, in Brussels.

Collage artist, art dealer, curator, poet.

Brussels Surrealist group, English Surrealist Group, Phases group.

After a promising debut as a composer, Édouard Mesens turned to poetry and, a devotee of Surrealism, acted as a liaison between that movement's Brussels and Paris chapters, organising numerous events including ...

Article

Paalen, Wolfgang  

Austrian, 20th century, male.

Active from 1939 then in 1945 naturalised in Mexico.

Born 1905, in Vienna; died 1959, in Mexico, committed suicide.

Painter, illustrator, poet.

Abstraction-Création group, Paris Surrealist group.

Paalen lived in Austria only briefly. He spent time in Italy, Berlin and Munich, where he studied painting under Hans Hofmann. Defended by the critic Julius Meier-Graefe, he first went to Paris in 1920, studied there in 1926, and settled in 1928. The Swiss sculptor Brignoni initiated him into Oceanian art. In 1939 he left Germany for Mexico. In 1945 he published a book ...

Article

Pélieu, Claude  

French, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA from 1963.

Born 20 December 1934, in Pontoise near Paris; died 24 December 2002, in Norwich (New York).

Collage artist, poet.

At the age of 17, Claude Pélieu published his first collection of Surrealism-inspired poetry, Rendez-vous avec le sol...

Article

Renzio, Toni del  

Russian, 20th century, male.

Active in Britain from around 1938.

Born 15 April 1915, in Tsarkoe Selo; died 7 January 2007, in Margate (Kent).

Painter, theatre designer, graphic designer, writer.

English Surrealist Group, Independent Group.

Toni del Renzio's family moved to Italy during the 1917...

Article

Rimmington, Edith  

British, 20th century, female.

Born 1902, in Leicester; died 1986.

Painter, poet.

Surrealism.

English Surrealist Group.

Edith Rimmington studied at Brighton School of Art. She joined the English Surrealist Group in 1937 and exhibited regularly in surrealist shows. Her delicately painted and precisely executed compositions, inspired by automatic drawing and poetry, address subjects of death and the sea and are permeated by sexual undertones that are at once beautiful and disquieting....

Article

Seligmann, Kurt  

Swiss, 20th century, male.

Active in France then in the USA.

Born 20 July 1900, in Basel; died 2 January 1962, in Sugar Loaf (New York), committed suicide.

Painter, engraver, writer, illustrator.

Abstraction-Création group, Paris Surrealist group.

Kurt Seligmann studied under Buchner and Ammann at the fine arts academy in Geneva. He returned to Basel, remaining there until 1927 prior to spending three years (1927-1930) studying under André Lhote in Paris and at the fine arts academy in Florence. He travelled to Greece in the company of Le Corbusier....