Andre Masson

French, 1896-1987 Biography

Andre Masson was born in Balagne, France on January 4,1896. He was an engraver, sculptor, stage designer and writer; he was one of the leading figures of Surrealism. He was admitted to the Academie Royale des Beaux-arts et l'Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Brussels, Belgium at the age of eleven.

Masson was severely wounded in the First World War and was deeply scarred emotionally. His pessimism was accompanied by a profound and troubled curiosity about the nature and destiny of man and an obscure belief in the mysterious unity of the universe, to which he devoted the whole of his artistic activity to penetrating and expressing. In the early 1920s he was influenced by Cubism, but in 1924 he joined the Surrealist movement and remained a member until 1929.

From 1934 to 1936 he lived in Spain and in the years between 1941 to 1945 he took refuge from World War II in the United States. He settled in Connecticut, dazzled by the colors of the New England autumn. There his work formed a link between Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. In 1945 he returned to France and two years later settled in Aix-en-Provence, where he concentrated on landscape paintings. He died on October 28, 1987.