Born in Switzerland in 1900, Kurt Seligmann was a noted surrealist painter in Paris and later in New York. Many artists from many disciplines were invited to create work inspired by Seligmann for a special tribute exhibition in celebration of his life and art.
Title: “Exotic Garden”
Model: Heather Meeks
Photography: Scott Fray
View Exhibition online
Learn More about Kurt Seligmann
BIOGRAPHY Kurt Seligmann was born on July 20, 1900 in Basel, Switzerland. In 1920, Seligmann studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Geneva. He later went on to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. In 1927, he moved to Paris and began exploring the style, technique, and vision of Surrealism in his art. Seligmann’s career evolved during the late 1930s and 1940s, when he was a member of the Abstraction Creation Group in Paris. When he moved to New York with his wife Arlette in 1939, he became one of the first members from the Parisian surrealist movement to settle in the area. There he began exhibiting at the Karl Nierendorf Gallery, a space where such artists as Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) and Paul Klee (1879-1940) also showed. His move to New York allowed him to become immersed in the Abstract movement taking place in the city. In addition to having regular exhibitions in various New York galleries, Seligmann also taught at Brooklyn College and Briarcliff Junior College. It was during this time that he also designed sets for dance and ballet groups. In 1940, Seligmann and his wife moved to a farm in the small town of Sugar Loaf, New York where, during his career, they had regular social interactions with his fellow surrealist colleagues, such as Alexander Calder (1898-1976), Yves Tanguy (1900-1955), Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967), and art historian and critic Meyer Schapiro (1904-1996). Throughout the 1940s, Seligmann continued to participate in exhibitions in New York, including one in which the proceeds benefited war relief for French children. In addition, Seligmann was interested in magic and the occult. In 1948, he wrote his first and only book on magic, entitled The Mirror of Magic. Seligmann returned to Europe for vacations, though never for long stints. He and his wife kept a home in Paris that they frequently rented out to European painters. The couple made their final trip to Paris in 1949 to visit family and friends. Upon their return, Seligmann taught at Brooklyn College and gave lectures throughout the East Coast as both an artist and a professor. His style continued to be an inspiration to his fellow artists. Seligmann was long interested in psychoanalysis and implemented ideas of the theory in his work. His portfolio also included aspects of fantasy and the unrealistic. At the same time, it explores the inner psyche and the unconscious as it related to his artwork and surrealist inspirations. The period where to get non prescription viagra between World War I and II was a tumultuous time in which Surrealism flourished. Seligmann’s explorations of the inner psyche are perhaps further commentaries on the general state of mind and disillusionment taking place at the time. At the age of 61, Kurt Seligmann died of an accidental gunshot wound while on his farm in Sugar Loaf. His wife bequeathed part of his estate to the Orange County Citizens Foundation of Sugar Loaf, New York. She dedicated the rest of her life to preserving the memory of her husband.