La apisonadora y la rosa (Steamroller and the Rose)

Óscar Domínguez

La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain, 1906 - Paris, France, 1957
  • Date: 
  • Technique: 
    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 
    65 x 54 cm
  • Category: 
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 

In May 1936, Óscar Domínguez made what was to be his final trip to Tenerife, where he heard about the Civil War. In October the same year he returned to Paris and began to collaborate with the publisher and typographer Guy Lévis Mano. During this time he illustrated the complete works of Lautréamont and André Breton’s Trajectoire du rêve (Trajectory of the Dream), both published in 1938. This period of intense contact with the world of literature gave rise to paintings of a Figurative Surrealism with a marked literary component, such as La apisonadora y la rosa (Steamroller and the Rose). Far from the Automatism that characterised the paintings of his so-called cosmic period, this painting has a clear message of protest, placing the artist squarely on the side of creativity, as opposed to supposedly destructive technology. This seems to be a theme that preoccupied Domínguez somewhat, given that in 1937 he also did a version of the same thing, Machine infernale (The Infernal Machine), which includes the basic elements of La apisonadora y la rosa: a rose and a huge machine whose roller breaks on the flower it is attempting to crush.

Paloma Esteban Leal