The Collection

Home Page > Works > Cremaillere




Author André Breton


Manuscript by André Breton dated 14 May 1959 for an exhibition May-June 1959 in rue des Beaux-Arts.

‘Housewarming’: a lovely title for an art display, Formes humaines (Human Forms) in this case – an exhibition at the galerie Le Corneur-Roudillon that opened in May 1959, and whose Oceanic objects belonged to Breton’s collection. What’s more, he would also write another text on this occasion: ‘Phénix du masque’ (‘The Phoenix of the mask’), published in the journal XXe siècle. Rather than in aesthetic terms, ‘primitive’ objects can be understood by their capacity for ‘stirring’, writes Breton, who during the 1950s – one thinks notably of L'Art magique, but also many of his prefaces – never ceases to refuse a merely aesthetic view of art, whether it be ‘modern’ or ‘primitive’, the work of Picasso or conversely that of Lam situated where the two meet. [Atelier André Breton website, 2005]

Signed handwritten manuscript, Paris, 14 May 1959
1 page in-12 manuscript with title and date, signed in ink by Breton with a few deletions and corrections of a text written on the occasion of the opening of a new gallery of ‘primitive’ art:
‘… this is what Messrs Le Corneur and Roudillon help us with in the context of their new premises whose windows give out so far onto Africa, America and Oceania.’ 
For the catalogue of the exhibition Formes humaines at the Galerie Les Trois continents. [Auction catalogue, 2003]


Translated by Krzysztof Fijalkowski


André Breton (Édition publiée sous la direction d'Étienne-Alain Hubert avec la collaboration de Philippe Bernier et Marie-Claire Dumas), Alentours, Œuvres complètes, tome IV, Écrits sur l'art et autres textes, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Paris, Gallimard, 2008, pages 1094-1095, note p. 1456.

Creation date14/05/1959
Bibliographical material

André Breton, AlentoursŒuvres complètes, volume IV, Écrits sur l'art et autres textes (edition established by Marguerite Bonnet and edited by Étienne-Alain Hubert with contributions from Philippe Bernier and Marie-Claire Dumas), Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Paris, Gallimard, 2008, pp. 1094-95, note p. 1456.

Physical descriptionMs - encre bleue
Number of pages1
Breton Auction, 2003Lot 2469
Keywords, , ,
CategoriesManuscripts, Andre Breton's Manuscripts
Set[AB's Manuscripts] Manuscripts 1958-1966
ExhibitionFormes humaines : Trois continents, Afrique, Amérique, Océanie
Permanent link
Exhibition place