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Mona Hadler

(b Cologne, June 25, 1920; d New York, Feb 6, 1984).

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 1938; his mother was to die in Auschwitz at the end of the war. Ernst passionately recounts these events in his memoir, A Not-So-Still Life, published in 1984, the year of his death.

In 1941, on the recommendation of gallerist Julien Levy, Ernst was employed by the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York. After welcoming his father to the city, he began to work for Peggy Guggenheim, which placed him securely within the Surrealist émigré community and burgeoning New York school along with friends such as the painter William Baziotes. His career as an art dealer advanced in tandem with his painting production. With Eleanor Lust, he opened the experimental Norlyst Gallery in ...

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

(Eva)

(b Long Creek, NC, Dec 1, 1892; d Wilmington, NC, Dec 16, 1987).

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 1948 to 1974). A highly religious woman, she attended St. Matthew African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wrightsville Beach, NC.

Beginning in her youth, she often heard voices and had waking dreams and visions. After a voice (which she believed was a message from God) told her to “draw or die,” Evans, then in her early 40s, began to record the complex imagery of her visions. Using pencil and wax crayons, she created semi-abstract forms on scraps of paper. By the late 1940s she worked in crayon, pencil and ink, and created scenes that were a combination of abstract and realistic forms. Later she experimented with oil paints, and by ...

Article

Style of painting popular in Europe and the USA mainly from the 1920s to 1940s, with some followers in the 1950s. It occupies a position between Surrealism and Photorealism, whereby the subject is rendered with a photographic naturalism, but where the use of flat tones, ambiguous perspectives, and strange juxtapositions suggest an imagined or dreamed reality. The term was introduced by art historian Frank Roh in his book Nach-Expressionismus: Magischer Realismus (1925) to describe a style deriving from Neue Sachlichkeit, but rooted in late 19th-century German Romantic fantasy. It had strong connections with the Italian Pittura Metafisica of which the work of Giorgio De Chirico was exemplary in its quest to express the mysterious. The work of Giuseppe Capogrossi and the Scuola Romana of the 1930s is also closely related to the visionary elements of Magic Realism. In Belgium its surreal strand was exemplified by René(-François-Ghislain) Magritte, with his ‘fantasies of the commonplace’, and in the USA by ...

Article

Marianne Heinz

[François] (Marie Martínez)

(b Paris, Jan 22, 1879; d Paris, Nov 30, 1953).

French painter and writer. He was one of the major figures of the Dada movement in France and in the USA but remained as stubbornly uncategorizable as he was influential. In his rejection of consistency and of an identifiable manner, he called into question attitudes to the artistic process that had been regarded as sacrosanct and in so doing guaranteed the intellectual force of his ideas for subsequent generations of artists.

After attending the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in Paris on an irregular basis from 1895 to 1897, he was able to begin his career as a painter thanks to a substantial inheritance from his mother. He gained early recognition with Impressionist-influenced landscapes and townscapes depicting resorts near Paris such as Villeneuve-sur-Yonne and Moret-sur-Loing, for example Banks of the Loing (1905; Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.). These paintings, which he exhibited in Paris at the official salons and in commercial galleries, were particularly close to the work of Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley; in spite of their sometimes mediocre quality they sold easily because of the ready market for this kind of work....

Article

Elizabeth Q. Bryan

(b Rome, Sept 10, 1890; d Paris, Nov 13, 1973)

Italian-born French fashion designer. Although Schiaparelli began her career with sportswear in the late 1920s, she is remembered for her Surrealism designs of the 1930s, often created in collaboration with such artists as Salvador Dalí, Jean Cocteau and Marcel Vertès. The drama of her original embroideries, vivid colours and strikingly witty accessories overshadows the simplicity of her sharply tailored suits and slender evening dresses (see fig. 1 and 2 ). Her ultimate success as a designer stemmed from her original sense of style and her instinctive attraction to the most avant-garde artistic circles.

Schiaparelli was born in Rome to a family of scholars and scientists and was educated in Switzerland and England. In London she fell in love in 1914 with the theosophist Wilhelm Wendt de Kerlor and married him without her family’s approval later that year. From 1914 to 1920 Schiaparelli and her husband led a precarious and bohemian existence, travelling from Britain to France to the United States. Along the way Schiaparelli met members of the international avant-garde, among them the Dadaist ...

Article

Hungarian artists’ colony founded in 1928 in Szentendre on the Danube Bend near Budapest. Its founder-members had all been pupils of István Réti, a member of the Nagybánya colony and, though designed as a centre for the creation of a national art, it soon incorporated an eclectic variety of styles, from Neo-classicism to Surrealism. Its more interesting developments came from the influence of such international movements as Constructivism and Surrealism, although in both cases these received a peculiarly Hungarian interpretation. Jenő Barcsay joined soon after the foundation of the colony and later arrivals included Antal Deli (1886–1960), Miklós Göllner (b 1902), Pál Milháltz (b 1899), János Kmetty and Vilmos Pelrott-Csara (1880–1955). In addition to the artists in the colony itself, there was an equally significant number who worked in the town either permanently or in the summer, such as Béla Czóbel, Lajos Vajda and ...

Article

Henri Béhar

(b Moineşti, April 16, 1896; d Paris, Dec 24, 1963).

French writer of Romanian birth. His first poems were influenced by Symbolism. He went to Zurich in 1915 to study philosophy, and he founded the Dada movement with his friends Marcel Janco, Hans Arp, Richard Huelsenbeck and Hugo Ball. He edited the review Dada (1917–22), which served as an interchange and a melting-pot for the different artistic avant-gardes (Futurism, Expressionism, Cubism) isolated in Europe during World War I. It welcomed poets and visual artists with similar views. As early as issue 3, the ‘manifeste dada 1918’ laid the foundations of a revolutionary art, advocating chaos and the mixing of genres. The page exploded: typography itself was exploited as art. Influenced by the visual discoveries of his friends, including Arp, Janco and Viking Eggeling, Tzara composed poems that are their verbal equivalents, treating the word as sonorous material and attempting to produce an ideographic alphabet. The soirées nègres...

Article

Henry Walton

(b Nüchtern, nr Bowyl, Feb 29, 1864; d Berne, Nov 6, 1930).

Swiss artist, writer and musician . He was the youngest of eight children of an alcoholic stonebreaker whose desertion of the family precipitated the death of Wölfli’s mother in 1873. After a series of sexual offences Wölfli was institutionalized with schizophrenia in 1895 in Waldau Mental Asylum, Berne, where he remained until his death from cancer. Although he drew his first pictures in 1899, his earliest surviving works date from 1904–6. His work is instantly identifiable; like Blake’s it expresses a strongly personal language, as in the High and Low Nobility of the English and British Canada Union (1911; Berne, Kstmus.; for illustration see Psychotic art ). He was a prolific producer of pictorial and narrative work in folios (Hefte) of newspaper format (1000×750 mm). The pencil and coloured crayon drawings depict his fantasized biographical journey, portraying him either as Doufi, ‘the child of poor and depraved parents’, or as ‘St Adolf II’. The borders are emphatic, and there are symmetrical arrangements, oval forms, circles, crosshatching and musical notation. The use of colour is original and idiosyncratic. In the accompanying narrative Wölfli’s alter ego is pitched towards his own death; he assaults his victims, his crimes are punished by illness and incarceration, he is struck by lightning and destroyed by attack or by natural forces. Illustrations from the popular magazine ...