André Breton
Year, Birthplace 1896, France
Year, Place of death 1966, France
Nationality France
Since his Lycée days, André Breton had been totally committed to poetry. In 1917, he met Pierre Reverdy, Guillaume Apollinaire, Philippe Soupault, Louis Aragon and, later, Paul Éluard and the painters Giorgio de Chirico, Francis Picabia and Pablo Picasso. In 1919, he founded the magazine Littérature. He became interested in the Dada movement in Zurich and invited Tristan Tzara to join him in 1920. His break with the dadaists, in 1923, was followed by the birth of surrealism in 1924. Breton was to be the movement’s theorist and, until his death, was a central figure in every struggle and debate of his time. Primarily a writer, he took part in the exquisite corpse and other drawing games as an enthusiast, though with no artistic pretensions. AC