Henie Onstad has got a new Domínguez painting


Óscar Domíngez, Electro Sexual Sewing Machine, 1934-35. Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

Henie Onstad has got a new Domínguez painting

The famous Spanish surrealist Óscar Domínguez (1906-1957) is now deposited in our collection — the painting Electro Sexual Sewing Machine can be seen in Sal Merz at Henie Onstad.

Domínguez is one of the great surrealist artists from Spain, and the work Electro Sexual Sewing Machine, which can be seen in the exhibition Merz! Flux! Pop!, is an iconic work from his career.

– We are proud to show Electro Sexual Sewing Machine in Sal Merz at Henie Onstad, where it is a part of our avant-garde venture with works from the same era by artists who had an experimental and exploratory expression, says Henie Onstad's director Anne Hilde Neset.

The painting was bought by Sparebankstiftelsen DNB at Christie's auction house this winter and was given its place in Sal Merz this summer. It is deposited in Henie Onstad's extensive collection of works from this period.

– We would like to thank Sparebankstiftelsen DNB – this oeuvre complements our collection and is a delight for visitors, she adds.

Young and promising artist

Óscar Domínguez was born in Tenerife, Spain, in 1906, where he began painting at a young age.

As a teenager, he moved with his parents to Paris, where he was introduced to several early surrealist painters, such as Pablo Picasso and Yves Tanguy.

In the 30s, he came into contact with the French writer and poet André Breton, also characterized as the founder of surrealism.

Domínguez was introduced as an exciting new talent in Spain. His bold compositions exhibited at the Círculo de Bellas Artes de Tenerife, caught the attention of art critic Domingo López Torres. Domínguez was recognized as a promising young surrealist painter who explored the psyche and Freudian theory through his unique works.

During his lifetime, he contributed to several large exhibitions, amongst others in Copenhagen, London and Tenerife.

Domínguez is among the most famous surrealists who worked in Paris in the 30s and is often mentioned with other big names such as Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró.

He has several famous works:

One of Domínguez's earlier surrealist works is called Portrait of Roma. This was painted a year before he met Breton.

Portrait of Roma (1933), Summer Desire (1934) and The Infernal Machine (1937) are among his many works.

Domínguez died at age 51 in Paris in 1957.

Filled with bold elements

The work that can now be seen at Henie Onstad is orginally called Machine à coudre électro-sexuelle.

The painting marks the beginning of his collaboration with André Breton and the Parisian Surrealists. The painting is filled with bold elements of sexuality, metamorphosis and mystery.

Electro Sexual Sewing Machine testifies to Domínguez's maturity and originality as an artist. It creates a complex, dreamlike vision that explores themes of erotic pleasure, sexual satisfaction and fetishism. Elements that became an important part of Surrealism's intellectual debates at the time.


Óscar Domíngez, Electro Sexual Sewing Machine, 1934-35. Photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter


Installation photo: Øystein Thorvaldsen / Henie Onstad Kunstsenter

Used the decalcomania technique

Dominguez is also known for his technique. He used something called the decalcomania technique. A technique that originated in the 18th century, but was adopted by the surrealists.

Decalcomania is defined as a transfer technique in art, where paint is spread on a surface and covered with material, such as paper or glass.

The material is then removed, and the pattern gets transferred to the material.

The method was used to create more random art, rather than art created under conscious control.