André Masson  (French, 1896-1987) 

André Masson (French, 1896–1987) was a painter and graphic artist who promoted Abstract Expressionism and Surrealism in his works. Masson was born in Balagne, France, and moved to Brussels, Belgium, in 1904. He attended Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts from 1907 to 1912, when he moved to Paris.

In Paris, Masson was admitted to the Paul Baudoin studio at the Ecole National Superieure des Beaux-Arts, where he remained until war broke out. He joined the army in 1914, but, after becoming severely wounded three years later, he spent several months at a military hospital. This trauma found its way into his early works, which depicted battle scenes, death, blood, birds, and fish, such as Furious Suns and Battle of Fishes. Masson returned to Paris in 1922, and was influenced by André Derain (French, 1880–1954) and Cubism before joining the Surrealist artists in 1924. One year later, these artists held their first exhibition, in the Pierre gallery, and Masson participated. The artist broke away from the group five years later, in protest against André Breton's claim to leadership of the group. Masson joined the Surrealist circle again in 1937, and tried his hand at the Surrealists' favorite activity of automatic drawing, from which he developed a new technique that retained the element of chance. He became the leader of this new technique, which was called automatism.

In 1939, Masson migrated to the United States and was a great influence on many American painters, notably Jackson Pollock (American, 1912–1956). Six years later, he went back to France and produced several landscape paintings in Aix-en-Provence; these paintings were shown from 1955 to 1964 at Documentas One through Three, in 1964 in Berlin and Amsterdam, and in 1972 at the Venice Biennale. In between, he did several paintings, notably the 1966 ceiling painting for the Parisian Théatre Odéon. Masson died in Paris, France, in 1987.

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André Masson, Soleil levant au dessus d'un torrent


André Masson
Soleil levant au dessus d'un torrent

Auction: Apr 29, 2014
Stockholms Auktionsverk
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André Masson, Rameau d'Or


André Masson
Rameau d'Or

André Masson, L'Écaillière


André Masson

André Masson, Femme surprise


André Masson
Femme surprise

André Masson, La mare enragée


André Masson
La mare enragée

Auction: Apr 23, 2014
Fine Art Auctions Miami
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André Masson, Dans le pur néant, à la cime de l'être


André Masson
Dans le pur néant, à la cime de l'être

Galerie Jean-François Cazeau
André Masson, Eleusis


André Masson

Galerie Jean-François Cazeau
André Masson, Ville crânienne


André Masson
Ville crânienne

Galerie Jean-François Cazeau
André Masson, Paysage Matriarcale


André Masson
Paysage Matriarcale

Gallery Wendi Norris
Past auction results (4740)  View All
André Masson, Mirage


André Masson
Mirage, 1964
india ink on paper


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André Masson, Athis


André Masson
Athis, 1963
ink and wash on paper


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André Masson, Femme feuille


André Masson
Femme feuille, 1943
bronze w/patina


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1896   Born: in Balagne, France
1904   Moved to Brussels, Belgium where he attended the academy of fine arts
1912   Admitted to the Paul Baudoin studio at the Ecole National Superieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France
1917   Severely injured and spent months in an army hospital during the war
1922   Returned to Paris, where his art was influenced by André Derrain and Cubism
1924   Met André Breton and joined the Surrealist Movement
1925   Took part in the first surrealist exhibition at the Pierre gallery
1929   Broke with Breton and the Surrealist group
1934   Fascist riots in Paris. Moved to Tossa de Mar, Spain
1942   Fled to the USA before the Nazi occupation of France, settled in New Preston, CT
1945   Returned to France
1966   Produced a ceiling painting for the Parisian Théatre Odéon, Paris, France
1987   Died: in Paris, France
2012   Galerie Jacques Bailly, Paris, France (solo)
2009   André Masson: Retrospektive, Die Galerie, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (solo)
Picasso et ses amis, Galerie für Kunst von Picasso-Conzen, Beck & Eggeling, Dusseldorf, Germany
2007   André Masson: Sur-Reality, Trigg Ison Fine Art, West Hollywood, CA (solo)
André Masson 'Grenzüberschreitung, Hachmeister Galerie, Münster, Germany (solo)
2002   André Masson Inside/Outside Surrealism: Works from the Gotlieb Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, Boston, MA (solo)
1996   André Masson in America: (1941-5), Zabriskie Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
André Masson, Galerie Guy Baertschi, Geneva, Switzerland (solo)
André Masson Work of the Forties, Kouros Gallery, New York, NY
1995   André Masson, The Mayor Gallery, London, UK (solo)
1993   Galerie Jacques Bailly, Paris, France (solo)
1989   Galerie Jacques Bailly, Paris, France (solo)
1987   Retrospective, Hayward Gallery, London, UK (solo)
1984   Galerie Jacques Bailly, Paris, France (solo)
1976   Retrospective, MOMA, New York, NY (solo)
Retrospective of drawings, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France (solo)
1973   Recent paintings, Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, France
1973   Galerie Jacques Bailly, Paris, France (solo)
1970   Galleria Schwarz, Milan, Italy (solo)
1968   Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, France
1967   Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain
1965   Rétrospective, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, France (solo)
1964   Retrospective, Akademie der Kunst, Berlin, Germany (solo)
1963   Galerie Gerard Cramer, Geneva, Switzerland
1962   Marlborough Fine Art, London, UK (solo)
1960   Svensk-Franska Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden (solo)
International Surrealist Exhibition, New York, NY
1959   Retrospective, Galleria Bussola, Turin, Italy (solo)
1958   Retrospective: engravings, L'Albertina, Vienna, Austria (solo)
Saidenberg Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
"Retrospective", Marlborough Fine Art, London, UK (solo)
Edgardo Acosto Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA
1956   Galerie Lucien Blanc, Aix-en-Provence, France
1955   Retrospective, Leicester Galleries, London, UK (solo)
1954   Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (won Grand Prix National for Painting)
1950   André Masson and Alberto Giacometti, Kunsthalle, Basel, Switzerland
1949   Terre Erotique, Place Vendome, Paris, France (closed by the police)
1948   Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, France
1946   Palais des Beaux Arts, Paris, France (solo)
1942   First Papers of Surrealism, Coordinating Council of French Relief Societies, New York, NY
1940   International Surrealist Exhibition, Mexico City, Mexico
1938   Exposition Internationale du Surrealisme, Paris, France
1936   International Surrealist Exhibition, London, UK
1934   Galerie Simon, Paris, France
1930   Gallery of Living Art, New York, NY
1926   Galerie Surréaliste, Paris, France
1925   Galerie Pierre, Paris, France
1924   Galerie Simon, Paris, France (solo)
  Selected Public Collections:
  Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Venice, Italy
Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
Haifa Museum, Haifa, Israel
Musée Cantini, Marseilles, France
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Reina Sofía National Museum, Madrid, Spain
2008    Clark V. Poling, Andre Masson and the surrealist self, New Haven, 2008
2006    Maurizio Vanni, André Masson, La ricerca dell'oltre, Text in ital., dt. U. engl., Modena, Galleria Modenarte 2006
2005    André Masson (1896 - 1987): les grands livres illustrés, ou le monde merveilleux de l'oeuvre gravé en couleur, Ausst. Kat. Cannes, 2005
2004    André Masson - Eine Mythologie der Natur, Ausst. Kat. Museum Würth, Künzelsau, 2004
2003    André Masson: Bilder aus dem Labyrinth der Seele, Ausst. Kat. Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt, 2003
1998    André Masson: Rebell des Surrealismus, Ausst. Kat. Ludwig-Museum Koblenz, 1998
1994    Lawrence Saphire/Patrick Cramer, André Masson: The illustrated books, catalogue raisonné, Genève 1994
1988    Roger Passeron, André Masson, General catalogue of the sculptures, Torino 1988