Marcel Jean. Untitled (Woman's Profile). 1936

Marcel Jean Untitled (Woman's Profile) 1936

  • MoMA, Floor 5, 517 The Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Galleries

Among the techniques the Surrealists used to court the element of chance was decalcomania, a transfer process (first developed for nineteenth-century ceramic design) in which two sheets of paper, one bearing wet pigment, are pressed together. The textural compositions that result often evoke rocky topographies or watery landscapes. Jean credited the artist Oscar Domínguez with introducing decalcomania to the Surrealist circle. Referring to the work seen here, Jean recalled, "I myself experimented with Domínguez in 1936 on decalcomanias with 'premeditated interpretation', that is to say, with a certain meaning or shape predetermined by the use of stencils." If the woman's profile was rendered

deliberately, her wild mane—which has the look of petrified wood—is the unplanned result of the process.

Gallery label from Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Disfiguration, March 14–July 9, 2012 .
Decalcomania (ink transfer) on paper (recto and verso)
19 3/4 x 12 7/8" (50 x 32.7 cm)
Saidie A. May Fund
Object number
© 2021 / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Drawings and Prints

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