Art: More Innocent, More Detached

Like many another surrealist, Andre Masson suffers from insomnia. There was a time when he spent the long, painful hours of darkness dreaming up new paintings, but not any more. Masson has called a halt to the shadowy flood of gutted women, warring insects, angry furniture, neon seas, chalk idols and galloping labyrinths that made him famous, and moved out into the sunshine to paint landscapes.

In his red-shuttered house overlooking Aix in French Provence, Masson tried to explain last week what the switch meant. "Don't think I'm going to return to the Barbizon...