Wolfgang Paalen was born in Vienna in 1905. His father was a wealthy businessman, his mother an actress. He became a member of Abstraction–Création in 1934 and was involved with the Surindépendants in Paris from 1932 to 1935. He became a member of the Surrealist movement in 1935 and invented a technique of painting with a smoking candle called 'Fumage.'
In 1939, fleeing the Nazi uprising in Europe, he moved to Mexico City and together with many poets and intellectuals was greeted enthusiastically. Paalen was a creative artist, and eventually rejected official Surrealism which he felt was oppressive. It was then that he began the concept of DYN.
He wrote about his liberation from the rigorous Surreal movement while in Mexico and published his magazine DYN. This magazine of opinion, poetry and fine art, also revealed the importance of 'ethnic art' and native peoples. Like Jacob Bronowsky of the Salk Institute who succeeded him, he worked on the implications of poetry, science and painting.
By 1944, Paalen had produced 6 issues of DYN where he began the serious exploration of automatism and it's development into consciousness and the unconscious. His writings and paintings stirred up great interest by artists everywhere and are today, in the new millennium, being discussed and embraced by artists, scientists and poets. Paalen's movement called Dynaton holds an important niche in art history.
His work is shown, and is in the collections of major museums around the world.