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victor brauner
︎Artist, Painting, Surreal 
︎ Ventral Is Golden


Romanian folklore, symbolic iconography, mythical creatures and a deeply psychological narrative couched in abstractions and premonitions, are what constitue the work of european surrealist, Victor Brauner.


From his childhood, divided between Romania and Germany, Brauner could remember the peasant rebellions in Moldova, his father’s séances, which he attended in secret, and the announcement of the end of the world as a result of the passing of Halley’s Comet in 1910.

Between 1919 and 1921, Brauner studied at the Bucharest School of Fine Arts, from which he was expelled because of the non-academic nature of his painting.
He joined Romania’s clandestine communist party, which he would abandon at the height of the Moscow Trials. After his return to Paris in 1938, during a quarrel among surrealist friends, he was hit in the face by a glass as he tried to separate Óscar Domínguez and Esteban Francés, an incident which left him permanently blind in his left eye. With reference to his 1931 self-portrait, this accident came about as an objective form of chance, and would figure, from then on, as one of the pinnacles in the history of surrealism.


“His life forced him to adapt...leading to his discovery of drawing with candles and then painting with wax, a material to which he attributed alchemical, even esoteric value.



















After the 1940 defeat and partial occupation of France by the German army, Brauner sought a route to America and out of France through Marseille. After repeatedly failing to leave, he acquired false documents and settled for the duration of the war in the region of Gap. The precariousness of his life forced him to adapt and make use of the few materials available to him, leading to his discovery of drawing with candles and then painting with wax, a material to which he attributed alchemical, even esoteric value. Throughout his life, Brauner perfected the technique and its use, combining the somewhat rustic nature of the material with a sumptuous refinement of the treatment of colour.



Further Reading ︎
Conceptual Fine Arts


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