"Exquisite Corpse: Game of folded paper played by several people, who compose a sentence or drawing without anyone seeing the preceding collaboration or collaborations. The now classic example, which gave the game its name, was drawn from the first sentence obtained this way: The-exquisite-corpse-will-drink-new-wine."

--Andre Breton (Waldberg, 93-94)

Drawing by Yves Tanguy, Man Ray, Max Morise, Joan Miro, c. 1926.


"Game of folded paper that consists in having a sentence or a drawing composed by several persons, each ignorant of the preceding collaboration...[eg]..."the exquisite/corpse/will drink/the new/wine"--excerpt from the 1939 Abridged Dictionary of Surrealism, as copied off the wall at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The Exquisite Corpse game (along with some of the most influential and intriguing art of the century) was developed by the artists and writers associated with Andre Breton's surrealist group during the third decade of the twentieth century. Those pictured below and others famous and obscure are re sponsible for the concept and this site is an homage to them.

General Techique

An Exquisite Corpse is constructed by exactly four (4) players. Each player fills an equal portion of the Corpse canvas. Players are cued only by a small slice of the previous player's work. The goal is to create a unified work of art encompassing the sensibilities and styles of four distinct individuals. Unconscious echoes of imagery, tone and subtext will occur of their own volition.

Digital Technique with Painter

Group decides on the subject matter or goal (body, landscape, building, unknown, or other)

For a three person group - the first person creates a file: width = 750 pixels, height = 215 pixels @ 72 ppi / for a 4 person group the height = 165 pixels

Save the file as Group#a.riff

First person creates a second painter file, same dimensions as first image. Save this file as Group#b.riff

Create a third image, dimensions of width = 750 pixels and height = 215 pixels

From the first image - select the entire width and at least 15 pixels of the bottom of the 'a' image and paste this into the third image. This will result in the bottom 15 pixels of image 'a' being placed in image 'b'

move the image down on the canvas so it meets the bottom edge.

create a new layer in the 'b' image

hand off the 'b' image to the next person in the group

using the 15 pixel remainder from the previous image on one layer as a guide - overlap and create the next part of the image - the 'b' image - repeat the steps above and hand off to the next person - who creates the 'c' image and 'd' image if four people are in the group.

When your group has all the images 'a' 'b' 'c' and 'd' (if four) create a new painter file with width = 750 pixels and height = 600 pixels

select, copy and paste your individual image parts into separate layers in the master painter file and position the layers to overlap properly. Merge the layers and save this file - name it and turn it in as specified on the project description.