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André Masson was a French painter born in 1896 and who died in 1987. He fought in the First World War and came close to death, a trauma that he carried with him throughout his life, and which is reflected in his works, both paintings and sculptures. He is best known for his surrealist work in the inter-war years. He transposed André Breton's surrealist method of automatic writing into “automatic drawing”. He was also the creator of the so-called "sand paintings", in which glue is spread on the canvas and sand is sprayed on it to create new, random shapes. Masson liked to experiment and was sometimes even considered a dissident in the Surrealist group, partly because of his differences with Breton, with whom he fell out permanently in 1943. During the 1930s, Masson became very close to Georges Bataille, with whom he collaborated on the journal Acéphale or for whom he produced several etchings to accompany his works. This friendship greatly influenced Masson, not only in the themes he tackled but also in the landscapes: the two friends spent several years in Spain. It was there that Masson discovered bullfighting, which inspired his famous painting Corrida (1936-1937). When the Second World War broke out, Masson and his wife, of Jewish origin, took refuge in the south of France and from 1940 to 1941, they were housed in Marseille. The same year, they embarked for New York where they stayed until 1945 and came back to France.

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