Wolfgang Paalen was born in Vienna in 1905. His
father was a wealthy businessman, his mother an actress.
He became a member of AbstractionCréation in
1934 and was involved with the Surindépendants
in Paris from 1932 to 1935. He became a member
of the Surrealist movement in 1935 and invented a
technique of painting with a smoking candle called "Fumage".
In 1939 fleeing the Nazi uprising in Europe, he moved
to Mexico City and together with many poets and intellectuals
was greeted enthusiastically. Paalen was a creative artist,
and eventually rejected official Surrealism, which he felt
was oppressive. It was then that he began the concept of
He wrote about his liberation from the rigorous Surreal
movement while in Mexico and published his magazine DYN.
This magazine of opinion, poetry and fine art, also revealed
the importance of "ethnic art." and native peoples.
Like Jacob Bronowsky of the Salk Institute who succeeded
him, he worked on the implications of poetry, science and
By 1944, Paalen had produced 6 issues of DYN where
he began the serious exploration of automatism and it's development
into consciousness and the unconscious. His writings and paintings
stirred up great interest by artists everywhere and are today,
in the new millennium, being discussed and embraced by artists,
scientists and poets. Paalen's movement called Dynaton holds
an important niche in art history.
His work is shown, and is in the collections of major museums
around the world.