Wolfgang Paalen was the eldest son of Austrian Jewish businessman and inventor Robert Paalen Gustav, and his German wife, actress Clothilde Emilie Gunkel. The first years of his life were spent between Vienna and Styie where his father was a fashionable health center. In 1912 the family moved to Berlin and the Silesian city of Zagan, where his father had bought a castle, the St. Rochusburg. Wolfgang Paalen studied at various schools in Sagan, before their parents engaged a private teacher. In 1919 the family moved to Rome, where Paalens received many guests such as Leo von K nig who became the first teacher of Wolfgang. In 1924 he returned to Berlin where he tried unsuccessfully to enter the Academy. In 1925 he exhibited at the Berlin Secession and deepened its aesthetic education, influenced deeply by Julius Meier-Graefe, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer and the Gestalt theory of Max Wertheimer.After another year of study in Paris and Cassis (1925/26) where he met Jean (Janco) Varda and Georges Braque, visited the art school of Hans Hofmann in Munich and Saint-Tropez 1928. After 1928 he was again in Cassis and Paris, studying briefly with Fernand L ger. From 1931 to 1936, Wolfgang Paalen actively participated in the Abstraction-Cr ation association dedicated to abstract art with, among others, the Swiss painter Kurt Seligmann (“Characters in a cave ‘, 1933). After his first exhibitions den Vignon Gallery, then the Pierre Gallery, Paris, joined the Paris Surrealist group formed around Andr Breton in 1936, participating in all major exhibitions. “I seemed to leave a deaf environment, to meet finally with the whole man.Only within surrealism found the whole experience lived, the heroic attempt at a comprehensive synthesis that brooked no more arbitrary separations between artistic expression and poetry, between poetry and life. ” By 1937, Wolfgang Paalen invented the technique of “smoke” (fumage) which, after traces of smoke from a candle flame on the surface of a sheet of paper or a canvas with paint still fresh, allows interpretation, or suggestion, so many unintended images of a model of a vibrant, velvety black. This method is located, Paalen made his most spectacular: “Landscape Medusa ‘(1938),” Struggles of the princes Saturn, III “(1939). Andr Breton saw in these “excessive figures of shadow theater, the beloved of the curls out of sight in the darkness … ‘. He traveled to New York in May 1939.In the fall of that year, following an invitation from Frida Kahlo, took refuge in Mexico. With the painter C sar Moro, organized the first international exhibition of Surrealism in Mexico (1940), then founded with Gordon Onslow-Ford magazine “Dyn” (1941). With the words “Farewell to Surrealism” distanced himself from Breton (1942), with not reconciled until 1951, during a visit to Paris. Mexico was nationalized in 1947. That same year she divorced from the artist Alice Rahon. Wolfgang Paalen committed suicide in 1959.