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Magnetic Mountain

A work made of oil on canvas.
© 2018 Orange County Citizens Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Kurt Seligmann
American, born Switzerland, 1900-1962

About this artwork

After Kurt Seligmann settled in Paris, his sinister, biomorphic compositions gained the attention of André Breton, who invited him to join the Surrealist group in 1937. With the outbreak of World War II, Seligmann became the first Surrealist to arrive in New York and was instrumental in the emigration of most of the movement’s leading figures. Transformed by contact with new cultures, Seligmann’s work continued to evolve, and as the Surrealists’ acknowledged expert on magic, he infused his paintings with mythology and esotericism. Indeed, the year he made this work, he published The Mirror of Magic, a history of the occult. The winding forms and mystical quality of this canvas would influence a new generation of American artists, including his student, Robert Motherwell.


Currently Off View


Modern Art


Kurt Seligmann


Magnetic Mountain


Switzerland (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


162.6 × 188 cm (64 × 74 in.)

Credit Line

Mary and Earle Ludgin Collection

Reference Number



© 2018 Orange County Citizens Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Extended information about this artwork

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