Enrico Donati: Surrealist Paintings from the 1940s at the Washburn Gallery is the first major exhibition of the artist’s work in New York in over two decades. Twelve paintings from 1942-1947 will be on view in person in the gallery and online from April 8 to May 29, 2021.
Born in Milano, Italy in 1909, Enrico Donati is largely remembered as a Surrealist painter despite his brief affiliation with the movement. Donati spent most of the 1930s in Paris, but it was in New York where he was brought into the fold of the Surrealist circle. Marcel Duchamp, Andre Breton, and Yves Tanguy – to name only a few – were among the distinguished artists who also fled to New York from Europe with the threat of war and Nazism. After taking refuge in New York from Paris in 1940, Enrico Donati’s first solo show, held in 1943 at the New School, led to the artist’s connection to Surrealism when his work captured the attention of Andre Breton. In the 1944 preface to the catalogue for Enrico Donati’s exhibition at the Passedoit Gallery, Breton positions the artist’s work as the linchpin between abstraction and figuration, thus healing a fracture in the Surrealist movement.
The Washburn Gallery would like to take this opportunity to thank Kathleen Hill and The Estate of Enrico Donati, as well as Roland Weinstein and Kendy Genovese of the Weinstein Gallery in San Francisco for their generous cooperation.