The Haunting Surrealism of Victor Brauner: Paintings by the Great Romanian Surrealist

Although Victor Browder is no longer a household name today, his impact on the art scene has been nothing short of remarkable.

Born in Romania in the early 1900s, Brunner's journey took an interesting turn in the 1930s when he, like many others, sought refuge from the rising tide of fascism in his homeland and arrived in the vibrant artistic center of Paris.

It was in the midst of the City of Lights that he crossed paths with Yves Tanguy and became part of the Surrealist group.

His paintings of the 1930s are surrealist tours-de-force, expressing a style that was very influential on later painters.

A notable work is "Indicator of Space" of 1934. Picture this: a strange robot-looking thing, covered in green fabric, confidently pointing somewhere.

But the painting is more than what meets the eye; It's like a puzzle. There is a hole in the chessboard showing a mysterious foot, a small ball in the pattern of the sidewalk, and a mysterious figure behind a wall.

Another great article from the same period is "Cabiline in Movement", with similar ideas. Brauner balances candid images with no obvious story to create an image that makes you think.

This tricky, interesting way of showing things became a big part of Surrealism, and Browder was right in the middle of it.

Perhaps his most famous painting The Surrealist from 1947 depicts the Surrealist as the Magician card of the Tarot. He stands at his magical table which is in the form of a stylized dragonfly.

From the 1950s Browder moved away slightly from his High Surrealism and began to work more with drawings on paper, earthy colors and thinned oil paint on boards. These are flat stylized figures that often become more abstract.

Victor Browder, although little known now, was undoubtedly one of the leading figures of Surrealism. His work in the 1930s and 1940s was very influential on later painters.

Just before World War II began, Browder ended up in Switzerland. He decided not to reapply for citizenship, which was a new rule for all Jews in France.

This proved to be a smart move, especially since Browder had drawn a highly unpleasant picture of Hitler in 1934. After the war, he moved back to Paris and continued working until he died in 1966.

Images of Browder's work, including a strange piece of taxidermy he called the "Loop-Table" (or "Wolf-Table") in 1939, are shown alongside two of his paintings made that same year, "Fascination" and " Psychological Space", which depicts an angry man. The wolf joined a table.

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