Italian born Enrico Donati, one of the last great American Surrealist painters, had a long fascination with surface and texture that included mixing his paint with sand, dust, coffee grounds and, at times, the contents of his vacuum cleaner, which he mixed with pigment and glue and slathered on his canvas. Bearing strong similarities in stylistic preferences to the work of Bernard Dubuffet, Donati was an integral part of the mélange of expatriate and American artists at the center of the post war New York art scene, having been introduced by the writer and "Father of Surrealism" André Breton to the likes of Ashile Gorky, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, Yves Tanguy, Giorgio de Chirico, Fernand Léger and the American sculptor Alexander Calder. Duchamp became a particular friend of Donati. They collaborated on various projects, including the Exposition Internationale du Surrealisme at the Maeght Gallery in Paris in 1947. They devised the exposition's program, decorating the cover of each copy with a foam rubber breast. Donati continued to transform his work throughout the course of his six decades long career. Donati would go on to embrace the Abstract Expressionist movement and exhibited with such major figures of the New York School as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning.
Private Collection, New York, NY