Andre Breton

Andre Breton was born in Fire Monkey - Ping Shen Year of the 60-year Cycle of the Chinese Zodiac

Born on February 19, 1896 Andre Breton is a writer and poet from France. He is known as the funder of surrealism or a cultural movement known for visual artworks and writings. Artists paint illogical scenes with photographic precision and create strange creatures from everyday objects. Surprise is the object. Breton originally studied medicine and psychiatry and worked in a neurological ward in France during WWI. His friends were Alfred Jarry and Jacqus Vache. Vache committed suicide at 24. His wartime letters to Breton were published and Breton wrote four preliminary essays (1919). In 1921 Breton married Simone Kahn and they lived in Paris where Breton kept his collection of more than 5,300 items from modern paintings to Oceanic art and works of popular art. In 1924 Breton created the Bureau of Surrealist Research. In his publication The Magnetic Fields he implemented the principle of automatic writing. He published the Surrealist Manifesto in 1924 and edited the magazine la Revolution surrealiste. Breton joined the French Communist Party in 1927, but was expelled in 1933. He made his living selling paintings from his art gallery. Breton was sent to Mexico by a French cultural commission. He met Leon Trotsky and together they wrote a philosophy Pour un art revutionnaire independent that called for a total freedom for art. Breton was an avid collector of art, unusual trinkets and ethnographic materials. He was interested in items from the northwest coast of North America. In 1931 most of his collection was auctioned to pay bills. He rebuilt the collection in his studio and grew it to over 5,300 items. Breton had an uncanny knowledge and appreciation for the value of his objects. Breton was married three times to Simone Collinet, Jacqueline Lamba with whom he had a daughter, and Elisa Claro.
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