gouache (or tempera), sand, and pastel on canvas
28 x 23¾ in
71.12 x 60.33 cm
T. Catesby Jones Collection
Painter, draftsman, and printmaker, Masson played a major
role in the development of Surrealism. He fled German-occupied France in 1941
and remained in the United States until 1946.
Metamorphosis was a central theme in Masson’s work. Like Max Ernst,
who used frottage (pencil or charcoal rubbings) to unlock the powers of the
unconscious, Masson experimented with methods that helped overcome the
constraints of the rational mind and released the imagination. By avoiding
closed or isolated shapes, Masson portrays the transformative action of
metamorphosis and balances turbulence with formal beauty.