The Secret World of Marcel Jean

In association with Timothy Baum

November 7, 2015 – January 30, 2016

Catalogue available for purchase

Press Release

The Elkon Gallery, Inc., in association with Timothy Baum, is pleased to present The Secret World of Marcel Jean -- the first one person exhibition of this Parisian artist’s work to be seen in America since 1985.


This exhibition is comprised of two separate bodies of work: a series of ink, gouache and watercolor images on paper from the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, and a group of smaller mixed media paintings, incorporating the artist’s self-invented technique described by him as flottage and rendered on masonite, dating from the earlier 1970’s.


Marcel Jean, born, as a surprisingly large number of important 20th Century artists in the seminal year of 1900, joined the Surrealist group of Paris in 1932, and except for the years between 1938 and 1944 when he worked and taught in Budapest (choosing to remain there until the war’s end instead of returning to German-occupied Paris), lived his entire adult life in Paris, until his death in 1994.


Jean was an active member of the Surrealist group throughout several decades, and exhibited in all of the major International Surrealism exhibitions (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Brussels, London, New York, Tokyo, Paris, Amsterdam) and subsequently in most of the important post-war Surrealism exhibitions, in addition to a succession of one-person shows, worldwide.


Besides being a painter and maker of objects (his most famous being the enigmatic Spectre du gardenia, on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York), Monsieur Jean was also a skilled and prolific writer, and among his achievements is the book considered by many to be the most important study of Surrealism ever written, The History of Surrealist Painting (Paris, 1959; New York, Grove Press, 1960).