Late 19th & early 20th Century Paintings & Decorative Arts Gallery Level 2, NGV International
Ecstasy belongs to a group of small anthropomorphic figurative pieces of a violently erotic nature that Masson created around 1938. He made this sculpture shortly after his reacceptance into the official Surrealist group led by André Breton. This work has a strong linear quality and the profile of the female head echoes the lamenting mother in Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, 1937, created just a year earlier. The whimsical and erotic elements of the sculpture, partly abstract yet explicit, reveal an affinity with other Surrealists of the time Alberto and Diego Giacometti and Joan Miró. Masson and Salvador Dalì remained close friends during the 1930s and the group shared a symbolic language of the unconscious.