Conversation in Blue and Pink
22 1/4 x 14 in. (56.5 x 35.6 cm)
International Graphic Arts Society (IGAS),
Medium and Support:
Label for "Beyond Cubism: European Modern Prints, 1920s-1960s", La Salle University Art Museum, March 7 – June 15, 2018:
André Masson was born in a small town north of Paris. He began his artistic training at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, where his family had moved, and then continued at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Masson was severely wounded in World War I and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. After an early Cubist phase, Masson took up with the Surrealists. Long interested in the writings of Fyodor Dostoyevski and Friedrich Nietzsche, he developed a fascination for the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud which were concerned with tapping into the subconscious and analyzing dreams. Probably more than any other artist, he pursued methods “automatism” called for by André Breton, leader of the Surrealists, making artwork guided by his unconscious mind and by chance operations. Another influence in this direction was Masson’s brother-in-law, the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. During World War II Masson took refuge in the United States.
This piece might depict the biblical story of the Visitation; it is particularly reminiscent of some Byzantine icons thereof. The Visitation is described in Luke 1:39-45: an expectant Mary calls on her cousin Elizabeth, pregnant with John the Baptist who leaps for joy in her womb as he senses the unborn Christ child. Their conversation is the source for both the "Hail Mary" and the Magnificat (a.k.a. The Ode of Theotokos).
-Tom Blum, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Mathematics and Science