The artist and intellectual Wolfgang Paalen was a leading trendsetter in artistic circles of the 20th mid-century. His pictures and texts provided both support and inspiration for young American abstract expressionist representatives like Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko. Paalen, born in Vienna, moved to Paris in 1929, where he joined the Surrealist movement. His original contribution to Surrealism were his so called "Fumage-pictures". In these he painted hallucinatory motives using candle smoke, which he mixed respectively with oil color or left them untouched. Paalen went into exile to Mexico in 1939 on the invitation of Frida Kahlo. From 1942 to 1944 he edited the influential art magazine DYN. This catalogue brings together all creative periods of the artist's oeuvre. His life long interest in collecting and researching indigenous art of British Columbia and Mexico are also described in detail, as well as his literary work.