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André Masson

French, 1896–1987

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André Masson

French, 1896–1987

1,067
Followers
Biography

An early Surrealist and devotee of Cubism—who went on to inspire the New York Abstract Expressionists before taking up a late interest in impressionistic landscapes—André Masson was an iconoclast whose abrupt stylistic transitions defy classification. Along with Joan Miró, he explored automatic drawing, seeking to express the creative force of the unconscious. This led to images—like the celebrated Battle of the Fishes (1927), a poetic depiction of conflict and metamorphosis with undertones of primordial eroticism—derived from random gestures and drawn spontaneously in glue, then sprinkled with colored sands for added texture and complexity. His signature violence, evident in the terrifying, fragmented figures of In The Tower of Sleep (1938), reflects the horrors of the Spanish Civil War and WWII, as well as his own troubled psyche in the aftermath of his service in WWI.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Auction
High auction record
€2m, Sotheby's, 2010
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 8 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 3 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Biography

An early Surrealist and devotee of Cubism—who went on to inspire the New York Abstract Expressionists before taking up a late interest in impressionistic landscapes—André Masson was an iconoclast whose abrupt stylistic transitions defy classification. Along with Joan Miró, he explored automatic drawing, seeking to express the creative force of the unconscious. This led to images—like the celebrated Battle of the Fishes (1927), a poetic depiction of conflict and metamorphosis with undertones of primordial eroticism—derived from random gestures and drawn spontaneously in glue, then sprinkled with colored sands for added texture and complexity. His signature violence, evident in the terrifying, fragmented figures of In The Tower of Sleep (1938), reflects the horrors of the Spanish Civil War and WWII, as well as his own troubled psyche in the aftermath of his service in WWI.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Auction
High auction record
€2m, Sotheby's, 2010
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 8 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 3 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Shows Featuring André Masson
Articles Featuring André Masson
Surrealism
Sep 23rd, 2016
Surrealism
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