Jack the Ripper
(Jack l'éventreur)
From VVV Portfolio (New York: VVV, 1942)

André Breton, French, 1896 - 1966


Postcard (color offset lithograph), thread, sequins, pen and black ink, and silver metallic paint on blue wove paper

Sheet: 17 5/8 x 13 15/16 inches (44.8 x 35.4 cm)

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950

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André Breton, leader and spokesman for the Surrealist movement from the early 1920s onward, began in the late 1930s to create "poem-objects" that combine words and images on a one-to-one basis; poetic labels assigned to various parts of his collage/assemblages fuse the verbal and the visual. Breton was committed to both word and image; he was deeply involved with poetry, edited the Dadaist review Littérature (1919-24), and published two manifestos on Surrealism (1924 and 1929). Fundamental to his aesthetic were psychic automatism (thoughts expressed without the constraints of logic and reason, as in states of dreaming, madness, hypnosis, or heightened imagination) and the exploration of relationships between a conscious state and that of dreaming. The work seen here, which exists in twenty separate editions, each on a different color of background paper, was Breton's contribution to a special artists' portfolio.