Wolfgang Paalen, ‘Ancestors to Come’, ca. 1948, Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art

About Wolfgang Paalen

Surrealist painter and art theorist Wolfgang Paalen was a key figure in the genesis of modernism. His oil paintings merged dreamlike abstract spaces with forms reminiscent of humans and strange plants. Paalen was also an early experimenter with installation art alongside creative partners Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dalí. Through his work and his influential art magazine DYN, he is credited as a major catalyst for the artistic upheaval of the early-mid 20th century, inspiring the work of Arshile Gorky, Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, and other Abstract Expressionists. In works such as Beatrice Perdue (1953), he introduced a new sense of pictorial space aimed at producing spiritual experiences in the mind of the spectator through a rhythmic interplay of light and color, similar to the jazz fugues from which he drew inspiration.

Austrian, 1905-1959, Baden, Austria, based in Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico