Yves Laloy was given a great honor: André Breton himself chose one of his paintings, Les petits pois sont verts...les petits poissons rouges, to reproduce on the cover of the second edition of Surrealism and Painting, in 1965—as though Laloy's work symbolized the present and future of surrealist painting—whereas the original 1945 edition featured Magritte's Le Modèle rouge. In 1947, after completing his studies in architecture and working for a time in his father's architecture studio, Laloy began to paint frescoes on the carnival theme. Observing his first attempts, José Pierre said: "His painting, beginning in 1949 with Le Grand Casque, goes in three directions: the first, like Marcel Duchamp, uses puns; the second is ruled by curves and analogies to the marine world; the third utilizes only straight and broken lines which, instead of making the work comparable to geometric abstraction, puts it in communication with the best works of the mediums." Upon seeing Laloy's Le Grand Casque, André Breton exclaimed, "At last, celebrations!" In his catalog preface to Laloy's first exhibition, in 1958, Breton pointed out that he instinctively proceeded like a builder: "Under the stellar sparkling of each of his canvases, we make out through the depths a sketch that here again assigns its dimensions to the planned building, with this difference—certainly capital—that the construction no longer overlooks the outer world but the one inside." Breton praised him for being able to shift from the description of an ultraworld to that of an infraworld. Laloy has been described as a "constructivist surrealist" because of his "lyrical geometry," yet, despite his preparatory drawings, executed with a square and drawing pen, he claimed, "My canvases obey an inner urge I cannot repress." Of one of his geometric pictures, Laloy wrote, "The lines form a labyrinth traveled by Ariadne's thread, which is the thread of thought. In this labyrinth I am lost and saved." In 1965 Laloy traveled to Peru for his exhibition at the Art Center Gallery in Lima. He wrote a 2,000-page treatise expressing all of his esthetic concerns, La Beauté et ses à-côtés, which he did not succeed in publishing.

Yves Laloy

Born 1920 in Rennes, France; died 1999 in Cancale, France. 

Monstrum in animo, Oil on Canvas, c. 1955