Thursday, May 22, 2014

Oscar Dominguez

Composicion con Fondo Azul (Composition with Blue Background)
oil on canvas
size unknown
Slovenska Narodna Galerie, Bratislava, Slovakia

Oscar Dominguez (1906-1957) was a Spanish Surrealist painter whose works were inspired by Yves Tanguy, De Chirico and Picasso. During the 1940's, his paintings were strongly influenced by Picasso with whom he had become friends while living in Paris. He was the son of a wealthy farmer from Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, Spain, he spent his youth with his grandmother and, as a self-taught artist, devoted himself to painting at a young age after suffering a serious illness which affected his growth and caused a progressive deformation of his facial bone frame and limbs.

His earliest paintings were primarily landscapes, but after moving to Paris at the age of 21 to deliver bananas, helping his father in his business, he became enamored with the works of Dali, Tanguy and Picasso. In 1933 he met Andre Breton, a theoretician of Surrealism, and Paul Eluard, known as the poet of this movement, and took part in many Surrealist shows. Afterwards he breaks his relations with Breton and gets under the influence of De Chirico, and thus comes his metaphysical period 1942-1943. Later he becomes friends with Picasso 1944-1948, and so starts his Picassian period. This evolution of his techniques so disappointed his surrealist friends that he was excluded from the International Exhibition of Surrealism in 1947. His very last surrealist work was the inscription ‘I wish death upon 30,000 priests every three minutes’ in the Surrealist Exhibition in 1945. He committed suicide on New Year's Eve 1957 by slitting his wrists in the bath.