MoMA
André Masson. Battle of Fishes. 1926
André Masson

Battle of Fishes

1926
Not on view
Medium
Sand, gesso, oil, pencil, and charcoal on canvas
Dimensions
14 1/4 x 28 3/4" (36.2 x 73 cm)
Credit
Purchase
Object number
260.1937
Copyright
© 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Masson made Battle of Fishes by freely applying gesso to areas of the canvas, throwing sand on it, then brushing away the excess. The resulting contours suggested forms "although almost always irrational ones," according to the artist around which he rapidly sketched and applied paint directly from the tube. The image that emerged suggests a savage underwater battle between sharp–toothed fish. Masson, who was physically and spiritually wounded during World War I, joined the Surrealist group in 1924. He believed that, if left to chance, pictorial compositions would reveal the sadism of all living creatures.

Gallery label from 2007
Provenance information
The artist. Until 1927
Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler/Galerie Simon, Paris. Purchased from the artist, 1927
Galerie Jeanne Bucher-Myrbor, Paris. Purchased from Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler/Galerie Simon, 1930 – 1937
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchased from Galerie Jeanne Bucher-Myrbor, Paris, October 1937

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Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource