Kurt Seligmann

(Basel 1900 - 1962 Sugar Loaf, NY)

Seligmann makes his public début as an artist in a group exhibition at Kunsthalle Basel in 1918. In 1919–1920, he studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Geneva. From 1929 until 1939, he mostly lives in Paris, where becomes a member of the artists’ association “Abstraction-Création” and the Surrealist group around André Breton. He produces illustrations for several books. The “danse macabre” motif first appears in his oeuvre in 1937. In 1939, he joins the leading Surrealists in leaving France for exile in America, and that same year and again 1941, he has widely noticed exhibitions at the Nierendorf Gallery in New York. He makes the acquaintance of Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Joan Miró, and Yves Tanguy. The album The Myth of Oedipus comes out in 1944, followed, in 1948, by the publication of his historical study The Mirror of Magic in New York. He teaches aesthetic experience at the New School for Social Research from 1951 until 1956 and art history and creative techniques at Brooklyn College from 1953 until 1961. In late 1959, he is forced to give up his studio in New York and retire to his country home in Sugar Loaf.