Paintings with a colorful mix of plant and animal symbols, surrealism and mutilated eyes, tarot symbolism and the Brauner’s fascination for André Breton’s: a bestiary under the sign of contemplative silence.
Protégé of Breton, for who our Romanian painter would be magic artist par excellence, is a devoted painter of premonitions, both ironic and cunning one. His work mainly involve unusual images, obsessive and delusional creatures forged in the various kingdoms of nature. Victor Brauner, illustrator and surrealist painter, was a Romanian Jew born in Piatra Neamt, sent by his father to evangelical school in Braila. At 18, he attended the School of Fine Arts temporarily in Bucharest and later had his first solo exhibition in Bucharest concerning expressionist paintings, in 1924. He lived through the Dadaist movement and then moved to Paris, where he became friends with the great Brancusi.
He was introduced to Yves Tanguy surrealism thanks and to André Breton who honored him with an animated introduction at Brauner’s first solo exhibition at Galerie Pierre, in 1934. Unfortunately, the event was not well received and Brauner returned to Bucharest for 4 years. In 1938, he moved with Tanguy and began to paint works that had distorted human figures with mutilated eyes as a center symbol. A terrible prophecy for what was he to suffer: he lost an eye in a violent conflict in the same year. Brauner fled to southern France in the Second World War and kept in touch with other surrealists and then settled in Switzerland. Avid art promoter, when he couldn’t allow materials, he improvised with candle wax and invented a technique of graffito. Back in Paris in 1945, his art developed using symbols and shapes based on tarot cards, Egyptian hieroglyphs and Mexican symbols. His works have been exhibited in international galleries. He died in Paris in 1966.
You can check his work at National Museum of the Art of Romania, if you’re visiting.