Georges Hugnet

French (1906 - 1974)
Georges Hugnet Untitled collages 1960 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2017.


Born 1906
Died 1974
Nationality French
Birth place Paris
Death place Saint-Martin-de-Ré

Poet, critic and book-lover Georges Hugnet spent his childhood in Argentina, moving to France in 1913. He was involved in the surrealist movement from 1933 to 1938, taking part in activities such as poetry, making collages and creating book covers for the Surrealists. Hugnet used the automatic technique of decalcomania, both on the endpapers of books and as an artistic practice in its own right. Hugnet's beautifully-bound books were considered as equal in value to objects created by the surrealist group and some were exhibited at the Exhibition of Surrealist Objects in Paris in 1936.

Glossary terms

  • A painting, drawing or writing process that aims to suppress rational thought, allowing the subconscious to take control. This spontaneous approach is associated with Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism.

  • An image constructed from found materials, such as photographs, paper or fabric, glued to a surface, sometimes with additional painted or drawn elements. It is an art form particularly associated with Dada and Surrealism.

  • Surrealist technique for generating images by applying paint to one surface which is then pressed against another surface to transfer the design. A variation is popular with young school children, who apply paint to paper which is then folded.