Medium
Image rights
© André Masson / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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.

High auction record
€2.4m, Sotheby's, 2010
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Selected exhibitions
2019
Abstract or notOlivier Malingue
2017
The Klewan Collection. Portrait(s) of ModernismBelvedere Museum
2016
“André Masson”Galerie Natalie Seroussi
View all

Fruits of Abyss from Surrealist Portfolio VVV, 1942

Etching and soft ground etching
11 7/8 × 8 in
30.2 × 20.3 cm
Location
Dallas
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Medium
Image rights
© André Masson / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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.

High auction record
€2.4m, Sotheby's, 2010
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works by André Masson
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