San Cristóbal de La Laguna, 1906 – Paris, 1957
Óscar Domínguez was a surrealist painter of Spanish origin. Born in the Canary Islands into a wealthy family of merchants, he arrived in Paris in 1927. When his father died in 1931, he had to support himself and therefore worked as an illustrator. Domínguez began to paint surrealist works from 1932, although his first exhibitions date from 1928. In 1934, he joined the group of surrealists led by André Breton, who got him the nickname of “the dragon tree of the Canaries” and described him as “the fiery and fragrant whistle of the Canary Islands”. Domínguez, later, invited the group of surrealists to exhibit on his island in 1935. He exhibited with them until 1940. Then, between 1941 and 1944, he worked as an illustrator for the publication La Main à plume with Paul Eluard, René Magritte and Pablo Picasso, to maintain surrealism during the Occupation. His encounter with Pablo Picasso and the influence of Giorgio de Chirico will significantly modify his pictorial conception, which will lead him, after the war, to the expulsion of the group of surrealists.
Óscar Domínguez committed suicide on December 31, 1957 in his studio in Montparnasse following his last exhibition’s failure. His works are now part of the largest collections of modern art, including that of the Museum of Modern Art in New York or the Center Pompidou in Paris.