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"Victor Brauner: Surrealist Hieroglyphs"
2001-10-12 until 2002-01-06
As an early adherent of the Surrealist movement, Victor Brauner actively explored the realm of dreams and the unconscious, with an emphasis on the occult and mystical. Both in content and in style, his art represents a remarkably fertile fusion of wide-ranging world cultures, mythologies, and religious beliefs, from Egyptian to Aztec, Native American to Oceanic, Jewish to Hindu, to name only a few.
The work of Brauner and its position in the history of art comprise a story replete with paradox. He was a respected and integral member of both the 1920s Romanian avant-garde and, beginning in the 1930s, the Paris Surrealist circle. Yet the history of modernist art often minimizes or neglects his idiosyncratic approach to Surrealism.
An erudite man of high intellect, Brauner made paintings that often have a naïve, folk art quality. Primarily focusing on figuration—whether human, animal, occult, or mythological beings—his works conversely are often realized in boldly colored abstract shapes and decorative patterning. An undeterred experimenter, he employed wax and encaustic media techniques of his own invention.