Born in Rumania, Victor Brauner settled in Paris in 1930. He was close to Brancusi, Giacometti and Tanguy and soon joined the Surrealist group; for André Breton, he was to be the ‘magic’ artist par excellence. A painter of premonitions, he could also be subversive and ironic. He created unusual, obsessional images and chimerical creatures combining nature’s different kingdoms. During the war years he was obliged to use makeshift materials such as wax which was to prove exceptionally well-suited to expressing his particular vision.
Right up to the end of his life Brauner continued to improve on his technique and use of wax, combining the rusticity of the material with sumptuous refinement when dealing with colour. After breaking away from Surrealism in 1948, the artist developed an increasingly personal style. He devoted himself to passionate introspection and borrowed both from primitive art and occult science to express universal archetypes: “ My painting is autobiographical, it tells the story of my life. And my life is exemplary because it is universal ” (1962).