Varian Fry 1907 - 1967 and the Surrealists PDF Print E-mail
Varian Fry 1907-1967

1907 – Born New York in wealthy family, brought up in Ridgewood NJ.
1927-31 – Harvard.
1931 -  Marries Eileen Avery Hughes. Studies history, international relations and journalism at Columbia Un.
1935 – Journalist specialized in international relations, visits Berlin. Witnesses Nazi barbarism.
1937 – Involved in American comitee to aid Spanish Republicans.
1938 – Joins American friends of German Freedom.
1940 – Sent to France by same committee to assist refugees in south zone in France.
    Arrives Marseilles 13 Aug 1940. Founds American Rescue Comittee in Marseilles at hotel Splendide.
Sep. – Assists at Spanish  border crossing – (Heinrich Mann, Werfel, Alma Mahler).
Oct. – Offices move to 60 rue de Grigna, rents villa Bel Air in outskirts.
Nov.– Visits Vichy and internment camps including Milles.
Dec. – temporarily interned during viit of marshall Pétain
Jan – Offices move bd Garibaldi. American consulate ordered not to renew his visa.
July, Aug. - travels to Toulouse, Montauban, and other big towns of south zone, meets Matisse in Nice.
29 Aug – Arrested and expelled through Spanish border 14 Sep.
In Lisbon secures liaisons with remaining members of rescue committee left in Marseilles.
Oct – Return to NYC – considered with suspicion looses various offiial positions in rscue committees and foreign
          policy centers.
1945 – Publishes “Surrender on Demand”
1950 – Remarries Annette Riley after death of 1st wife. 3 children.
1963 – first American decoration
1964 – Charged with publication of commemorative album of lithographs for 1941 rescues.
Trip to europe to secure collaboration of Picasso, Chagall, Ernst, Lipchitz, Miro etc…
Gives his archives to univ. of Columbia.
1967 – Receives legion of honor – dies shortly after
1996 – Honored as just among the nations by Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem
1998 – Honorary citizen of Israel
1997 – 99  - first exhibitions and in Washington, Aix and Marseilles

Hannah Arendt, André Breton, Marc Chagall, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Wilfredo Lam,  Jacques Lipchitz, Arthur Koestler, Alma Mahler, Heinrich Mann, Roberto Matta, André Masson, Max Ophüls, are only a few of the European artists, writers, filmmakers and intellectuals  saved by Fry.

Groupe de Grasse

Jean Arp 1886-1966

1886 – Born Strasbourg of Alsatian mother and German father.
1912 – Meets and exhibits with Kandinsky, Delauney, Klee Marc, Fauconier.
1915 -  In Zurich to escape German conscription. Collaborates with Hugo Ball (Richard Huelsenbeck, Tristan Tzara,
    Marcel Janko) in creation of Dada at Cabaret Voltaire, meets future wife Sophie Taueber.
1916 – First Dada reliefs based on “haphazard” forms.
1922 – Marries Sophie Taueber.
1925 – Settles in Paris. Shows at Pierre Loeb’s.
1926 – Transformation of entertainment center “Aubette” in Strasbourg in col. With Sophie and Theo van Doesburg.
1929 – Adheres with Sophie to Cercle et Carré group.
1931 – Moves on to Abstraction-Création.
1940 – Couple find themselves in Grasse at Magnelli’s house where they are joined by Sonia Delaunay.
    Re-experiment with Dada techniques and create in common gouaches and drawings.
Fail to get visa for USA. Escape to Switzerland at Max Bill’s where Sophie dies accidentally in 1943.

Sophie Taueber 1889-1943

1886 – Born Davos, Switzerland. Will study applied arts.
1915 -  In Zurich meets Arp.
1922 – Marries     Arp.
1926 – Transformation of entertainment center “Aubette” in Strasbourg in col. With Arp and theo van Doesburg.
1929 – Designs couple’s house in Meudon.
1930 – True beginning of artistic career with simple abstract geometric compositions. Sympathises with
    Constructivists and Michel Seuphor’s Cercle et Carré.
1937 – Editor and designer of review Plastiques with Domela.
1940 – Couple find themselves in Grasse at Magnelli’s house where they are joined by Sonia Delaunay.
    Re-experiment with Dada techniques and create in common gouaches and drawings.
    She draws “lost lines on chaotic ground”.
Fail to get visa for USA. Escape to Switzerland at Max Bill’s.
1943 - Sophie dies accidentally in 1943 intoxicated by fumes of effective gas heater.

Alberto Magnelli 1888-1971

1888 – Born Florence son of wealthy merchants.
1911 -  Meets Futurists.
1914 – In paris meets Jacob, Apollinaire, Gris, Picasso, Léger, Archipenko.
1915 – First abstract ptgs on his return to Italy.
1920-30 – Return to figuration without completely giving up abstraction frequent travels including Berlin.
1931 – Return to paris befriends Kandinsky.
1934 – Emarries Susi Gerson.
1935 – Elaboration of abstract style.
1940 – In Grasse in his house where he is joined by Arps and Sonia Delaunay.
    Returns clandestinely to Paris.
1945 – Exhibition at modern art gallery in Grasse – beg. of his influence on Gilioli, Mortensen, Deyroll, Vasarely.

Ferdinand  Springer 1907 -1998

1910 – Born Berlin son of scientific publisher.
1926 -  Studies art history in Zurich.
1927 – Starts painting, firts in Milan where he meets Morandi and Carra then Paris at Académie Ranson.
1935 – Willem Uhde buys several works.
1936 – Exhibits with “surindépendants” brauner,Hartung, Vieira da Silva.
1937 – Exhibits at Julien Levy’s in NYC, meets Calder, Dali, Pierre Matisse.
1939 – Interned with Bellmer and Ernst at camp de Milles.
1940 – Settles with Grasse group – Delaunay, Arps, Magnelli.
1942– Flees to Switzerland with Jewish wife just before German occupation of zone libre.
    Visits Klee, not allowed to exhibit or sell work by Swiss authorities.
1945 – Returns to Grasse – pre-war work lost.
In post war abstract war and more and more printmaking.

Hans Belmer 1902-1975

1902 – Born Katowice, Silesia in bourgeois family.
1911 -  Mfamily moves to Karsruhe.
1921 – Enrolls in technical school in Berlin, his father resists his artistic vocation.
1924-27 – Joins Berlin artistic Bohemia, works with Jean Heartfield and George Grosz. Works as typographer and
    review designer. Visits Paris, marries Margaret Schnell.
1920-30 – Return to figuration without completely giving up abstraction frequent travels including Berlin.
1931 – Return to paris befriends Kandinsky.
1933 – In protest ag. rise of Nazism does first articulated doll. Photos published in Minotaure in 1935.
1937 – Leaves for France. Returns to graphic work – prints.
1938 – Sickly wife dies.
1940 – Interned in Milles camp near Aix with Max Ernst. Escapes and hides in Castres.
1941 – Meets Alsatian Marcelle Sutter, will marry her 1942 but separate 1944.
1943 – Birth of twin daughters Doriane and Béatrice. Soon alone and desperate. Paints portraits to survive.
1944 – Settles in Carcassone where he collaborates with poet  Joë Bousquet.
    Meets Bulgarian poet Nora Mitrami who will lead him and Bousquet to anagram poems.
Illustrates Georges Bataille’s Histoire de l’Oeil.
1947– Shows in International Surrealist Exhibition at Galerie Maeght.

Victor Brauner 1903-1966

1903 – Jewish, Born Carpathians, Rumania. Dismissed by Bucharest Beaux arts for scandalous works
1924 -  Joins Bucharest avant garde and Dada trends.
1925-26 – Trip to Paris, meets Brancusi, discovers Chirico.
1930 – Marries Margit Koschil and settles in Paris. Neighbors with Giacometti and Tanguy. Meets Jacques Hérold.
1931 – Paints famous sp with pierced eye – premonition of future accident.
1932 – Meets Breton.
1934 – First Surrealist exhibition with “Mr K”.
1935 – Return to Bucharest, no money.
1936-37 – Joins communist party but leaves after Moscow trials.
1938 – Returns to Paris as Romanian political situation worsens.
Looses his eye in fight bet. Dominguez and Esteban. Meets future wife Jacqueline Abraham.
1940 – Travelling in Midi hears of Fry’s center from Dominguez letter. Joins up with Peggy Guggenheim.
1941 – Settles in villa Bel Air, hospitalised in Marseille clinic.
1942-45 – Hides in small villages in Hautes-Alpes.
1945– Returns to Paris, marries Jacqueline and shows with P. Loeb in 1946.
1947– Shows in International Surrealist Exhibition at Galerie Maeght.

André Breton 1896-1966

1896 – Born in the Orne, brought up in Saint-Brieuc at maternal gdfather’s.
1906 -  Lycée Chaptal, Paris. Discovers Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Huyslmans.
1913 – Begins medical studies.
1914 – Publishes first poems, passionate abt Rimbaud.
1915 – Mobilised in medical service, writes to Apollinaire, meets Jacques Vaché.
Works in psychiatric center, discovers Freud. Meets soupault and Aragon at Adrienne’s Monnier’s bookshop, collaborates on Reverdy’s Nord-Sud review.
1919 – Death by overdose of mentor Vaché. Breaks with Mallarmean poetry. Writes with Soupault and Aragon
“Magnetic Fields”. Founds with Soupault review “Littérature” which soon will become main Dada organ in Paris.
1920 – Employed as copy reader of Proust at NRF, gives up medical studies.
1921 – Marries Simone Kahn. Meets Freud in Vienna.
1922 – Breaks with Tzara and Dada movement . Moves to 22 rue Fontaine where he will remain for the rest of his
1924 – Publishes Surealist Manifesto. Firs number of La revolution surréaliste which Breton will direct from 1925.
1926 – Openign of first Surrealist gallery rue Jacques Callot. Meeting with Najda rue Lafayette. She inspires the
    famous book.
1927 – Joins communist party with eluard, Péret and Aragon.
1929 – In love with Suzanne Musard separates from Simone. Second Surrealist manifesto and 1st exclusion so “heretics”:
    Soupault, Artaud, Masson …
1930 – New review, Surrealism in the Service of Revolution. Dali, Bunuel and René Char join movement.
1933 – Disillusionment with Soviet Union.
1934 – Meets and marries Jacqueline Lamba, the “Ondine” of his poetry.
1935 – Surrealism affirms its international reputation. Birth of daughter Aube.
1938 -     Meets Trotski on lecture tour in Mexico. Breaks with Eluard.
1940 – Mobilized and de-mobilized. In August joins wife in Marseille. Stteles in villa Bel Air with wife and daughter.
    Creation of « jeu de Marseille ».
1941 -  Latest book censored by Vichy. March embarks for Martinique where he will be temporarily interned
    as “suspect”. Arrives in NY in July.
1942 – Separation with Jacqueline.
Will remain in NY until 1946.

Camile Bryen 1907-1977

1907 – Born Nantes.
1926 -  Meets Tzara, Picabia, Duchamp, Arp in Paris. Essentially poetic activity.
1934 – Poetic collaboration with Raoul Ubac. Creation of oniric Surrealist objects.
1934 – 43 – Lectures and literary activity.

Marc Chagall 1887-1985

1887 – Born Moise Sahgalov Vitebsk.
1910 -  Arrival at La Ruche in Paris.
1914-22 – In Russia, marries Bella.
1923 – Returns to Paris.
1935 – Takes up French nationality in view of rise of Central European anti-Semitism.
1940 – Easter goes south to Gordes with Bella where he buys old school for studio.
1941 – Visit from Varian Fry and Harry Bingham American counsul with inviation from MOMA.
    Embarks from Marseilles in May
1941 – Flees to US – designs Firebird decors for Stravinsky Opera.
1944 – Bella dies.
1948 – Returns to France.

Frédéric Delanglade 1907-70

1907 – Born Bordeaux, son of famous singer. Brilliant student at Henri IV, Paris before joining artistic Bohemia.
1932 -  First exhibition in gallery reu des Beaux-Arts. 4 years of psychiatric studies (unconscious and dreams.)
1936 – First mural for Ste Anne Hospital, Paris.
1937 – Meets Breton.
1939 – Adheres to Breton’s and Trotski’s new revolutionary art group.
1940 – Made prisoner, draws in camp. Escapes and makes his way to Marseilles. Ferequients villa Bel-Air and
participâtes in collective games, cadavres exquis and jeu de Marseilles.
1941 – Tracjked down by police finds refuge in Rodez with local hospital director.
1942 – Meets and paints Artaud’s portrait.
1944 – Liberation of Ste Anne hospital in Paris.
Continues ptg and exhibiting in Surrealist context after war.

Oscar Dominguez 1906-1957

1906 – Born Canary Islands son of wealthy merchant.
1927 -  First trip to Paris as his father’s agent.
1931 –     After father’s death has to earn living as illustrator.
1932 – First Surrealist ptgs.
1934 – Admitted into Surrealist fold by Breton. Invents decalcomania.
1938 – Throws bottle at painter Esteban which hits instead Victor Brauner and takes out his eye.
1940 – In Marseille participates in creation of card game
1941 – In Paris in neo-surrealist group of Main-Plume. Less inventive does pastiches of Chirico and Picasso.
Breton: “l’ours mal léché à la t^te d’hidalgo gigantesque » Continuous decline.
1957 – Commits suicide

Marcel  Duchamp 1887-1968

1887 – Born Blainville, Normandy.
1902-  First ptgs at 15.
1904 – Joins 2 artist brothers in Paris.
1912 – Nude descending Staircase at Indépendants. Hit of Armory show next year.
1915 – In US at hosts’ Walter and Louise Arensberg. With Picabia and Man Ray. Invention of ready-made.
1919 – Collaborates with Dadaists in Paris.
1920-22 – New York, patron Katheine Dreier.
1926 – Rents paris apt for next 16 years.
1927 – Marries LydieSarazin-Levassor.
1931 – Member of French chess players federation. Wins Paris tournoi of 1932.
1940 – Artistic advisor to Peggy Guggenheim.
1941 – Finishes first 20 boites-en-valises containing miniature examples of all his works.
1942 – Joins Breton In NYC.
1947 – Organizes great Surrealist exhibition with Breton in Paris.

Max  Ernst 1891-1976

1891 – Born Brühl, Germany. Studies psychiatry in Bonn. Adores Romantics.
1914 -  Meets Arp.
1917 – Exhibits with Dadas in Zurich.
1918 – Marries Louise Straus art historian. Tempestuous relation.
1920 – 1st sensational Dada exhibition in Cologne.
1921 – Invited to show in Paris.
1922 – Settles in Paris befriends Breton, Tzara, Gala Eluard, Desnos.
1925 – Invents frottage.
1933- Placed on proscribed artists’ list in Germany.
1936 – Begins using decalcomania.
1938 – Abandons 2ncd wife marie-Berthe Aurenche (who will go off with Soutine) for Leonora Carrington with whom
he will retire to St Martin d’Ardèche.
1939 – Interned in camp de Milles in Aix as enemy alien.
1940 – In Marseilles with Peggy Guggeheim. Leaves with her for Lisbon and later NYC in 1941 with help of
Varian Fry.
Will later leave Peggy for Dorothea Tanning.

Jacques  Hérold 1910-1987

1910 – Jewish, Born Hérold Blumer in Moldavia.
1927-  Beaux arts in Bucharest.
1930 – In Paris. Changes name advised by fellow Romanian Brauner. Assistant to Brancusi.
    Meets Duchamp, Man Ray, Desnos. Poor and desperate.
1932 – Meets Breton through Brauner and Tanguy.
1934 – Shows with Surrealists.
1936 – Marries Vilolette Boglio, English teacher. Befriends Ubac, Dominguez, Bataille, Soutine.
1940 – In Canet, then Marseilles. Frequents villa Bel-Air and participates in game of Marseilles.
1942 – Marseilles occupied by Germans –asked to declare himself at police. Flees towards Switzerland fails to
    cross border, hides in Haute-Savoie.
1943 – Back in Paris joins Resistance.
1944 – Divorces, meets future wife Vera.
1945 – Paints collective mural at Ste Anne hospital.
1951 – Distances himself from Surrealists but continues with illustrations (Butor, Bataille) and poetic concerns.

Wilfredo  Lam 1902-1982

1902 –Born Cuba son of Chinaman and mixed race mother.
1916 -  Family settles in Havana. Studies art.
1923 – Scholarship to study in Europe. Settles in Madrid until 1937. Interested in primitive art.
1931 – 1st wife and child die of tuberculosis. Paints numerous mother and child works.
1936 – Joins republican forces at beg. of civil war.
1936 – Marries Vilolette Boglio, English teacher. Befriends Ubac, Dominguez, Bataille, Soutine.
1938 – Leaves Spain for Paris with Helena Holzer whom he will marry in1944. meets Picasso who introduces him to
    art world.
1939 – One-man show at Loeb’s.
1940 – In Bordeaux then Marseilles. Frequents villa Bel-Air and participates in game of Marseilles.
1941 – Illustrates Breton’s poem Fat Morgana which is censored by Vichy. In march embarks for Martinique with Helena
    on same boat as Breton and Claude-Lévi-Straus. Briefly detained with Breton, meets aimé Césaire. Returns
to Cuba until 1944. Frequent shows and trips to New York in next years
1952 – Divorces Helena, returns to Paris.

Jacqueline  Lamba 1910 -1993

1910 – Born Saint-Mandé.
1926-28 -  Ecole des arts décoratifs, Paris,  befriends Dora Maar. Works as decorator in department store.
1928 – Does experimental photos.
1934 – Meets Breton. Is aquatic dancer for music hall.
1935 – Birth of daughter Aube.
1938 – In Mexico at Rivera’s and Khalo’s with Breton.
1940 – In Royan with Picasso and Dora Maar then Marseilles. Settles in  villa Bel-Air..
1941 – In March embarks for Martinique with Breton and Lam.
1942 – Separation with Breton, affair with sculptor David Hare.
1944 – 1st gallery exhibition in NYC
1947 – Surrealist exhibition in Paris
1953 – Break-up with Hare - in Cannes under Picasso “protection”.
1967 – Her most important show at musée Picasso, Antibes.

Jacques  Lipchitz (Chaim Jacob) 1891 -1973

1891 – Jewish, Born Lithuania oldest of 6 children of young master builder.
1909 -  Arrival in Paris, académie Julian.
1912 – Shows with Section d’Or (Gleizes, Metzinger, Léger, Gris, Duchamp, Archipenko.)
1915 – From Cubist to almost abstract constructivist-like sculpture.
1920 – 1st one man show organized by Léonce Rosenberg.
1921-24 – becomes fashionable (Chanel, Barnes). Becomes French.
1925 -  Moves with wife Berthe to Boulogne. Biblical and mythical subjects in ‘30’s.
1940 – Toulouse. Emigrate to NYC June 1941.
1946 – Return to France. Big show at Maeght.
1948 – Divorces returns to USA. Remarries Yulla Halberstadt, ssculptor.
Late lyrical work, anxious abt destinies of Israel.
1962 – Italy and Israel.
1967 – Hadasah University commission ofor monumental sculpture for Mt Scopus.
1973 – Dies Capri.

André  Masson 1896 -1987

1910 – Born Oise in industrial village.
1907 -  Beaux arts in Brussels.
1912 – Paris beaux-arts.
1914 – Badly wounded Chemin des Dames. Profound repulsion for war.
1921 – Meets Kahnweiller via Max Jacob. Becomes chief painter of new gallery.
1923 – Shares studio with Miro rue Blomet. Center for young writers (Leiris, Limbour, Artaud.) Breton buys 1st picture.
1924 – Joins Surrealist group. Profound friendship with Georges Bataille.
1925 – 1st automatic drawings.
1926 – 1st sand paintings.
1929 – Distances h/slef from Breton. More defined figurative paintings with mythic, sexual and violent themes.
1930 – divorces wife Odette Cabalé.
1931 – In Grasse with Paule Vézelay English painter. Frequents Matisse.
1934-36 – Spain, marries Rose Maklès (Jewish)whose sister Sylvia marries Bataille and then Lacan.
1937 – Returns to France, re-connects with Breton and Surrealist activities.
1941 – In US settles in Connecticut. Receives Dorothea Tanning, Calder, Lévi-Strauss, Peggy Guggenheim.
Experimental work with mixed techniques. Determining influence of Pollock.
1946 – return to France.  More and more decorative and theatrical work in post-war.

Roberto  Matta 1911 - 2002

1911 – Born Roberto Echaurren Santiago, Chili in franco-Basquue family, educated by Jesuits in French.
Studies architecture.
1934 – Arrival in Paris. Works at Corbusier’s studio.
1935 – Meets Lorca and Dali in Spain. Travels constantly meets Alvar Aalto, Henry Moore, Roland Penrose,
1937 – Meets Breton who declares him Surrealist (excluded for ignominy in 1948, re-admitted in 1959).
1938 – Invents “psychological morphologies”.
1939 – Encouraged by Duchamp embarks for New York. His fluent English put him at center of NYC art world.
    Travels to Mexico with Achille Gorky. Discovery of totems and Indian dolls.
1948 – Accused of Gorky’s suicide by Breton, leaves for Chili.
Involved in all post-war Left political struggles and causes.

 Wols 1913 –1951 (Alfred Otto Wolfgang Schultze)

1913 – Born Berlin father chancellor of Saxony. Brought up in high social and cultural circles of Dresden.
1929 -  Bohemian life after father’s death. Strats doing phography.
1932 – Studies at Bauhaus. Arrival in Paris, meets through Mohol-Nagy Ozenfant, Léger, Arp, Domela and
    Surrealist circle. 1st ptgs influenced by Surrealism.
1933-35 – Travels with modiste wife Gréty Dabija in Spain – arrested in Barcelona 3 months in jail as illegal alien.
1936 – with Léger’s help gets temporary papers for France. Works essentially as phographer.
1937 – Gt success of his fashion pictures for pavillon de l4legance of Paris world Fair published in Vogue
and fashionable magazines. “Wols” coined at this time anecdote of misheard name by telegraph operator.
Exhibited at Pleiade with Cartier-Bresson, Man Ray, Kertesz, Lee Miller, etc…
1939 – Interned as enemy alien in Neuvy-sur-Barangeon, and 3 other camps including Milles.
1940 – Released because of French wife returns in exhausted and depressed state from which he will never recover.
    Lives in Cassis. Tries to get visa for US via Fry. Confides 100 watercolors to writer Kay Boyle.
1942 – German occupation of zone libre. Receive visas too late. Refugge in country at hous eof roché. Autmatic ptg
and hard drinking
1945 – Unsuccessful show in Paris gallery (Drouin.) Becomes part of Giacommeti and Sartre existentialist circle.
1947 – Drouin gallery show. Part of new European “action” painting  with Mathieu, Tapié.
1951 – Disintoxication cure – dies of badly treated food poisoning.

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