Overview of the Romanian Surrealist Group here
Ghérasim Luca was born Salman Locker on July 23, 1913 into a liberal Jewish family in Bucharest. His father was
a tailor. Luca, who spoke Yiddish, Romanian, German, and French, traveled frequently
to Paris in the latter part of the 1930s and became acquainted with the French Surrealists. World War II and Romania's official
anti-Semitism forced him into internal exile. During the short pre-Communist period of Romanian
independence, he together with Gellu Naum, Paul Paun, Virgil Teodorescu, and Dolfi Trost founded
the Romanian Surrealist Group. In 1945 Luca and Trost co-authored the group's principal text
"Dialectics of the Dialectic." Harassed and caught while trying to flee the country, the
self-styled "étran-juif" was finally able to leave Romania in 1952, moving to Paris via Israel.
Frequently cited in the works of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Luca collaborated in Paris with many
artists, including Jean Arp, Paul Celan, Francois Di Dio, and Max Ernst, producing numerous collages
(he helped invent cubomania), drawings, objects, and text-installations. Starting in 1967, reading appearances
took him to many cities in the US and around Europe, and a 1988 television portrait, Comment s'en sortir sans sortir
by Raoul Sanglas, further widened his readership.
Having spent forty years in France without papers, he was evicted from his apartment in 1994, along with all the
building's tenants, officially for "urban renewal." Now 80 and unable to cope with his new situation, Luca committed
suicide on February 9, 1994 by jumping into the Seine.