Souvenir de París (Souvenir of Paris)

Óscar Domínguez

La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain, 1906 - Paris, France, 1957
  • Date: 
  • Technique: 
    Oil on board
  • Dimensions: 
    38 x 46 cm
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Óscar Domínguez made particular use of the quintessential Surrealist procedure, Automatism, in the paintings of his cosmic period (1938-1939). However, in works from some years before – such as Souvenir de Paris (Souvenir of Paris) – he was already using the technique, on which Breton had conferred the status of definitive nature in Les champs magnetiques (The Magnetic Fields), a book written with Philippe Soupault, published in 1920. Through this method, Souvenir de Paris presents a disturbing oneiric vision. In the upper third of the canvas, on the left, the symbol of the French capital – the Eiffel Tower – stands blurred against a grey sky. The lower part of the picture shows the movement of an underground world, focusing on the threatening presence of an insect. Once more it seems that the world of reason and the universe of the subconscious are facing each other in the painting, while some vernacular elements alternate with more genuinely Surreal ones.

Paloma Esteban Leal