French writer and painter. The son of a keen amateur painter, he was trained in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and at the Académie Julian and then exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in Paris. His early works were influenced by the Nabis, but most are lost. In 1909 he met Raymond Duchamp-Villon, through whom he became acquainted with the Puteaux group, which included artists such as Léger, Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes and others. Two years later he met Picabia. From 1913 he painted very little, but in 1920 he began to produce mechanomorphic paintings like Picabia’s. Often these were painted on the back of earlier works, such as the Great Musician (1920; see Jotterand, p. 65), which was owned by André Breton and had a Nabi-style work of 1905 on the back. After World War I he collaborated with Picabia on the Dada journal 391 and soon became an important figure in Parisian Dada. He also contributed to several other Dada reviews, such as Dada, Mécano and Proverbe, and wrote various Dada plays. His Dada masterpiece, L’Empereur du Chine, was written in 1916 and Le Serin muet was performed at a Dada soirée in 1920.
After the decline of Dada, Ribemont-Dessaignes joined the Surrealist movement, although he no longer painted. In 1928 he was one of the founders of Le Grand Jeu, a marginal Surrealist periodical, and from 1929 to 1931 he edited Bifur. After a dispute over Le Grand Jeu in 1929 he broke with Breton and the official Surrealist movement. Thereafter he continued writing, returning to drawing and painting after World War II.
From Grove Art Online
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