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Manuscript of the Fifth Lecture by André Breton in Haiti, this time regarding modern art, held on January 29, 1946. This text, which deals with collages, Cubism, and Surrealism, will be published in the Inédits I (Unpublished Texts I) of the Pléiade in 1992.

The fifth Breton conference in Haiti, likely held on January 29, 1946, dealt with modern art, as sort of a follow-up to the third conference devoted to the birth of this art, of Romanticism in Seurat and Le Douanier Rousseau. Breton turns now to movements of which he is a contemporary, with men that he himself associated: such as Matisse, Cubism, Picasso; but he also takes the opportunity to evoke primitive objects, in a very precise commentary that deserves recognition. The text that we have a draft of here appears in the third volume of the Pléiade, in the section Unpublished Texts I. [Atelier André Breton Website, 2005]

Lectures (Haiti, Martinique) 1945-1946. Fifth Lecture, original manuscript, January 29, 1946 —12 pages in-4° First draft manuscript with many deletions and corrections from this 5th conference held in Haiti on contemporary painting.

“France has garnered worldwide renown, an unmatched prestige which unfortunately is seen so little (I think of the incredibly hesitant and tardy nature of acquisitions made in France by the state, the inability it has shown to exempt the masterpieces of artists such as Seurat from international trade, which only one painting is, due to the generosity of an American collector) in the darkest days of this last war, I can testify in full conscience and objectivity that it is the painting of Paris, especially the modern painting of the Paris School which, in the United States, was the great ambassador of French thought. I say that this painting, especially that which spans from Cézanne to the Surrealists in the worst moments of depression caused by the uncertain fate of war and all sorts of threats that enemy occupation posed to France, I say that this painting continued to attract thousands of views daily that, if not from connoisseurs and devotees, were at least from people willing to know and love it. […]"

Henri Kahnweiler, who was the dealer of Cubist painters between 1910 and 1914, that is to say when they were most discussed, what am I saying, the most scorned, and when they had only one or two critics—but these critics or one of these two critics is a genius poet, Guillaume Apollinaire—M. Henri Kahnweiler provides in Art Notebooks from 1940-1944 a very precious eyewitness testimony on this question of collected papers and the role they have in Cubism. Although probably to spare that ego, he refrains from identifying the inventor of the method, I believe that without great risk of error we can attribute the responsibility not to Picasso but to Georges Braque. This problem of focusing on such a subject also loses much of its significance from the time where it is known that Picasso and Braque, from 1910-1913, work hand in hand and share in every respect the stubborn desire to achieve an impersonal execution, the conviction that the ‘hand’ of the painter’s ‘personal writing’ should not be discerned in the work.” [Auction catalogue, 2003]



- André Breton, (Édition de Marguerite Bonnet avec la collaboration de Philippe Bernier, Marie-Claire Dumas, Étienne-Alain Hubert et José Pierre), Inédits I, Œuvres complètes, tome III, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Paris, Gallimard, 1999, p. 274-295.

Creation date29/01/1946
Bibliographical material12 pages in-4°
Date of publication 1946
Physical descriptionMs - encre bleue et crayon
Number of pages12 p.
Breton Auction, 2003Lot 2263
Keywords, , , , , ,
CategoriesAndre Breton's Manuscripts
Set[AB's Manuscripts] Haïti
ExhibitionSérie de conférences en Haïti
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