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Victor BRAUNER

1903-1966
Victor BRAUNER

Born in 1903 in Romania, Brauner was a French painter of Romanian origin. He died in Paris in 1966. 

His childhood was characterized by extreme poverty and his father’s spiritualist séances, which he observed in secret.

From 1919 to 1921 he studied at the School of Fine Arts of Bucharest.

A Dadaist at first and then a surrealist, he was a member of the important community of Romanian artists and intellectuals established in Paris with, among others, Constantin Brancusi and Tristan Tzara.

In 1925 he discovered the painting of Giorgio De Chirico but it is only in the early 1930s that he was introduced to the group of surrealists through Yves Tanguy, with whom he was close.

The enucleated eye is a recurrent symbol in his work and this, even before 1938, when he lost his own left eye as he tried to intervene in a fight between Óscar Domínguez and Esteban Francés.

His precarious life compelled him to adapt to his circumstances and to use the few materials he had at his disposal. For instance, he painted with polish, a material to which he attributed an alchemical, almost esoteric value.

In 1947 he left the surrealist group. In the following years he fell sick and his painting darkened until it became monochrome, while the titles of his works retained the Dada sense of humour.