Welcome to the brand new Arthive! Discover a full list of new features here.


Austria • XX century−1959

Biography and information

Wolfgang Paalen (it. Wolfgang Paalen, 22 Jul 1905, [Vienna]] — um. 24 Sep 1959 Taxco de alarcón, Mexico) is an Austrian — Mexican surrealist painter and art theorist.

V. Paalen was born in a mixed Jewish-German family of a wealthy merchant and inventor G. R. Paulina (nee. Pollack). Childhood future artist was held in Vienna and Styria where his father owned the resort. In 1913 his family moved to Berlin and then in Silesia, where his father, Wolfgang takes on the castle of Saint Rohrsburg. Spent years here, fanned by fantasy and ancient legends about the mysterious world of fairies and elves, had a strong impact on the surrealist artist of the 1930-ies. In 1919, V. Paalen went to Rome, where he took lessons from Leo von könig. In 1924 he, together with könig arrived in Berlin in 1925 exhibited his works at the Berlin secession. In 1926, the artist spent in Paris, 1927-1928 years, in Munich and Saint-Tropez. Then living in Paris, where in 1933 becomes a member of the group Abstraction-Creation, and in 1936 surrealistic group of andré Breton. In 1938 participated in the international surrealist exhibition in Paris (Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme).

In 1939, V. Palen, along with his wife, French artist Alice Ragon, travels through Western Canada and then, at the invitation of Frida Kahlo, in Mexico. In Mexico the artist lived until 1949, here in 1941-1945 he published specializing in contemporary art magazine DYN 1-6. In 1940-1946, V. Palen involved in various avant-garde exhibitions in the US, influences development in this country of such direction in painting, as abstract expressionism. In 1949 Phalen lives and works in San Francisco, and in 1952 moved to Paris, where he remained until 1954, then returned to Mexico. In 1959, the artist committed suicide.

  • Styles of art
    Abstractionism, Expressionism, Surrealism
  • Art forms