André Masson

André Masson, “Returning from the Execution”, 1937, Oil on Canvas

André Masson was born on January 4, 1896, in Balagny-sur-Oise, France. He studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Masson settled in Paris in 1920. Two years later he met D.-H. Kahnweiler, who served as his principal dealer until 1931. His first one-man show was held at Kahnweiler’s Galerie Simon in Paris in 1924. That same year Masson met André Breton and joined the Surrealist group, with which he was initially affiliated until 1928.

During his first Surrealist period, Masson made automatic drawings and paintings and experimented with sand paintings. At this time be began to explore violent and erotic themes and was influenced by Analytical Cubism. He illustrated books and his works were reproduced regularly in the magazine La Révolution Surréaliste. In 1925 he participated in the first Surrealist exhibition, at the Galerie Pierre in Paris. Two years later he met Giacometti and executed his first sculpture.

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