Composition, 1934

Dada Group

  • 2005:008
  • oil on canvas
  • 106 x 74 3/8 in.
  • Framed: 109 5/8 x 78 1/4 in.
  • Collection of the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, Gift of Mrs. Eleanor Castellani, 2005

The origin of this work remains a mystery. Primary information provided by Sotheby's auction house in  London indicated that Composition is a collective work, completed by numerous artists in the mid 1930s—yet to be identified.  

Research done in 1988 by CAM Research Assistant Sara Gregg, found that this work may have been  created by Bocian (1912-2002), a Czech-born artist working in Paris in the 1930s. Although  independent of the Surrealists working in Paris at that time, Bocian did exhibit regularly at the Galerie  du Dragon. Additional correspondence indicated that reproductions of this painting served as a  promotional poster for one of the Dada Group exhibitions (date unknown) held in the Galerie du  Dragon in Paris. 

Further research found that Bocian’s formal name was Bohumir Strohalm (Czechoslovakian, 1912- 2002), and that he would have been in his early twenties at the time it was created. Our research into  the definitive origins of this work is ongoing.