Andre Masson Biography

Andre Masson

French

1896-1987

Biography

André Masson, painter, sculptor, illustrator, designer, and writer, was born January 4, 1896, in Balagny-sur-Thérain in northern France. He spent most of his youth in Brussels, where he worked as pattern-drawer in an embroidery studio and studied part-time at the Académie des Beaux-Arts. He moved to Paris where he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts between 1912 and 1914. Masson served five years in the French army during World War I and was seriously wounded.

In 1919, he moved to the South of France for a few years before returning to Paris. There he participated in the Surrealist movement between 1924 and 1929 and became a leading practitioner of automatism. Under the German occupation of France during World War II, Masson’s work was declared degenerate. He fled France eventually taking refuge in United States, living in Connecticut between 1941 and 1945. It was during this time that he worked at Stanley William Hayter’s experimental workshop Atelier 17 at the New School in New York.

Masson returned to France in 1945 and settled in Aix-en-Provence in 1947. His work is represented in collections worldwide, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Dallas Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Galleries of Scotland, Ashmoleam Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art New York, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Tate Gallery and the Albertina.

Masson died on October 28, 1987 in Aix-en-Provence, France.