Signs (Signes) for 'Anatomy of My Universe'

Accession Number

Signs (Signes) for 'Anatomy of My Universe'

André Masson

Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
soft-ground etching with drypoint and etching on paper

3 7/16 in x 4 ⅜ in (8.73 cm x 11.11 cm);19 ¼ in x 14 ¼ in (48.89 cm x 36.2 cm);7 4/5 in x 5 15/16 in (19.84 cm x 15.08 cm);10 1/16 in x 8 ⅛ in (25.56 cm x 20.64 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Florence L. Stol

Label copy
In exile in New York during World War II, Masson typically worked in Hayter’s Atelier 17 in the city. However, for this print he prepared the plate at home in Connecticut, bringing the plate into the city for proofing. The print evinces his love of experimentation with unusual materials, including elements from nature. Into the soft-ground medium Masson impressed leaves, cloth, and a small fish. The collage-like effect relates to works the artist was making at the time using found objects. The image in the upper right of a man with arms outstretched is that of the "emblematic man" and reflects Masson’s belief that "[M]an is the mirror of the universe." Other signs include the labyrinth in the lower left.
This print accompanied deluxe copies of Masson’s illustrated book Anatomy of My Universe, the first of four such works that dealer Curt Valentin published. The artist’s text, which enunciates his credo, was translated into English by the art historian Meyer Schapiro. The book was dedicated to psychiatrist and philosopher Jacques Lacan, Masson’s brother-in-law and friend.
Label copy from exhibition "Dreamscapes: The Surrealist Impulse," August 22 - October 25, 1998

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
intaglio print

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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modern and contemporary art

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