Animal Caught in a Trap
André Masson, French, 1896 - 1987
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Automatism is the general rubric for a range of literary or artistic techniques that short-circuit the controlling, conscious mind in the process of creation. Many Surrealists used automatic techniques to tap the unconscious, which they considered the source of expressive and psychological authenticity. André Masson pioneered automatic drawing—scribbles or doodles that sit on the edge of legibility—as the starting point for more developed images. Here, a seemingly random circular design becomes a sinister trap, poised to snare the unsuspecting beast within.