André Breton

1896 (Tinchebray, France) – 1966 (Paris)

Apollinaire was a formative influence, as was Vaché. Breton founded ‘Littérature’ with Soupault and Aragon, who along with Éluard, Crevel, Artaud, Leiris, Péret and Desnos congregated around him in surrealism’s early days. He’d known and admired Valéry while quite young, and visited Freud in Vienna. Apollinaire introduced him to de Chirico, Picasso and others; these two plus Miró, Masson, Ernst and Tanguy were included by Breton in the first surrealist painting exhibition. He met Lévi-Strauss on a boat to Martinique (where he met Césaire). Ernst and Duchamp accompanied him to the U.S. during WWII; he met Lam in New York.