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Max Ernst

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Max Ernst (April 2, 1891 – April 1, 1976) was a German Dadaist and surrealist artist.


Max Ernst was born on April 2, 1891 in Brühl, Germany. In 1910, he enrolled in the University of Bonn to study philosophy, literature, art history, psychology and psychiatry. He completed his studies in 1914 just as WWI broke out.

In 1918 he married the art historian Luise Straus — a stormy relationship that would not last. She died in Auschwitz in 1945 [1]. In 1919 Ernst visited Paul Klee and created his first paintings, block prints and collages, and experimented with mixed media. During World War I he served in the German army and after the war, filled with new ideas, Ernst, Jean Arp and social activist Alfred Grünwald, formed the Cologne, Germany Dada group, but two years later, in 1922, he returned to the artistic community at Montparnasse in Paris.

Constantly experimenting, in 1925 he invented a graphic art technique called frottage, which uses pencil rubbings of objects as a source of images. The next year he collaborated with Joan Miró on designs for Sergei Diaghilev. With Miró's help, Ernst pioneered grattage in which he troweled pigment from his canvases.

Ernst drew a great deal of controversy with his 1926 painting The Virgin Chastises the infant Jesus before Three Witnesses: André Breton, Paul Éluard, and the Painter.

L'Ange du Foyeur ou le Triomphe du Surréalisme, 1937.
L'Ange du Foyeur ou le Triomphe du Surréalisme, 1937.

In Montparnasse he was a central figure in the birth of Breton's desire to ostracize Ernst's friend Éluard.

In 1927 he married Marie-Berthe Aurenche. It is said that "his relationship with her may have inspired the erotic subject matter of this painting and others of this year." [2]

Ernst began to sculpt in 1934, and spent time with Alberto Giacometti.

In 1938, the United new museum in London.

Ernst developed a fascination with birds that was prevalent in his work. His alter ego in paintings, that he called Loplop, was a bird that he suggested was an extension of himself stemming from an early confusion of birds and humans. He said his sister was born soon after his bird died. Loplop often appeared in collages of other artists work, such as collages like Loplop presents André Breton, and they usually had a bird foot-like object superimposed on another artist's of the Bride.

Following the onset of World War II, Ernst was detained as an enemy alien in France but with the assistance of the American journalist Varian Fry in Marseille, he managed to escape the country with Peggy Guggenheim. He left behind his lover, Leonora Carrington, which caused her to suffer a major mental breakdown. Ernst and Guggenheim arrived in the United States in 1941 and were married the following year. Along with other artists and friends (Marcel Duchamp and Marc Chagall) who had fled from the war and lived in New York City, Ernst helped inspire the development of Abstract expressionism.

His marriage to Guggenheim did not last, and in Beverly Hills, California in October of 1946, in a double ceremony with Man Ray and Juliet Browner, he married Dorothea Tanning.

Ernst remained primarily in the United States, living in Sedona, Arizona, and in 1948 wrote the treatise Beyond Painting. As a result of the publicity, he began to achieve financial success.

In 1963 he and Tanning moved to a small town in the south of France where he continued to work. He City, and the Galeries Nationales du Grand-Palais in Paris published a complete catalogue of his works.

Ernst died on April 1, 1976, in Paris, France and was interred there in the Père Lachaise Cemetery.

Europe After the Rain, 1940-42.
Europe After the Rain, 1940-42.


American post punk group Mission of Burma titled two songs after the artist: 1979's "Max Ernst" (which mentions two of the artist's works by name: The Virgin Mary Chastises the Infant Jesus and Garden Airplane-Trap), and 2004's "Max Ernst's Dream". Ernst's work has also been featured on the merchandise of American genre-bending rock group, The Mars Volta.

Selected list of works

Ubu Imperator 1923.
Ubu Imperator 1923.
The Elephant Celebes 1921
The Elephant Celebes 1921
Oedipus Rex 1922
Oedipus Rex 1922
Untitled 1920
Untitled 1920
Vox Angelica, 1945.
Vox Angelica, 1945.
Men Shall Know Nothing of This, 1923.
Men Shall Know Nothing of This, 1923.
  • 1919 Trophy, Hypertrophied
  • 1919 Farewell My Beautiful Land of Marie Laurencin. Help! Help!
  • 1919 Aquis Submersus
  • 1919 Fruit of a Long Experience
  • 1919 Two Ambiguous Figures
  • 1919-20 Little Machine Constructed by Minimax Dadamax in Person
  • 1920 The Hat Makes the Man
  • 1920 Murdering Airplane
  • 1920 Here Everything is Still Floating
  • 1920 Dada Gauguin
  • 1920 The Small Fistule that Says Tic Tac
  • 1920-1 The Gramineous Bicycle Garnished with Bells the Dappled Fire Damps and the Echinoderms Bending the Spine to Look for Caresses
  • 1921 The Elephant Celebes
  • 1921 Birds, Fish-Snake and Scarecrow
  • 1921 Seascape
  • 1921 Approaching Puberty or the Pleiads
  • 1921 Young Chimera
  • 1922 A Friends Reunion
  • 1922 Oedipus Rex
  • 1923 Castor and Pollution
  • 1923 Holy Caecilie - The Invisible Piano
  • 1923 Men Shall Know Nothing of This
  • 1923 Histoire Naturelle
  • 1923 The Equivocal Woman
  • 1923 Pietà or Revolution by Night
  • 1923 Ubu Imperator
  • 1923-4 Woman, Old Man and Flower
  • 1924 Two Children are Threatened by a Nightingale
  • 1924 Dadaville
  • 1925 Mer et Soleil - Lignes de Navigation
  • 1925 Paris Dream
  • 1925 The Couple in Lace
  • 1925 Eve, the Only One Left to Us
  • 1926 The Numerous Family
  • 1927 The Kiss
  • 1927 Der grosse Wald
  • 1927 Gulf Stream
  • 1927 Forêt
  • 1927 Forest and Dove
  • 1927 The Wood
  • 1927 Fishbone Forest
  • 1928 Tree of Life
  • 1928 The Sea
  • 1928 Die Erwählte des Bösen
  • 1929 Et les Papillions se Mettent a Chanter
  • 1929 Snow Flowers
  • 1930 Loplop Introduces Loplop
  • 1931 Human Form
  • 1933 Zoomorphic Couple
  • 1934 The Entire City
  • 1934 Une Semaine de Bonte
  • 1935 The Whole City
  • 1936 Landscape with Wheatgerm
  • 1936 The Nymph Echo
  • 1937 L’Ange du Foyer ou Le Triomphe du Surréalime
  • 1937 The Angel of Hearth and Home
  • 1940 Attirement of the Bride
  • 1940 Spanish Physician
  • 1940-2 Europe After the Rain
  • 1941-2 Day and Night
  • 1942 Surrealism and Painting
  • 1943 Window
  • 1943 Painting for Young People
  • 1943-4 The Eye of Silence
  • 1944 The King Playing with the Queen
  • 1944 Moonmad
  • 1944 The Table is Set
  • 1944 Napoleon in the Wilderness
  • 1945 Vox Angelica
  • 1945 The Temptation of st. Anthony
  • 1946 Phases of the Night
  • 1947 Dangerous Correspondance
  • 1947 Design in Nature
  • 1948 Capricorn
  • 1950 Parisian Woman
  • 1951 The Weatherman
  • 1956 L’oiseau Rose/Der Rosa Vogel
  • 1958 Petite Feerie Nocturne
  • 1958 Apres Moi le Sommeil
  • 1960 Paysage Arizona
  • 1960 Ursachen der Sonne
  • 1962 The Garden of France
  • 1965 Grand Ignorant
  • 1967 Corps Enseignant Pour une École de Tueurs
  • 1968 Nordlicht am Nordrhein
  • 1970 Ein Mond ist guter Dinge

Ernst in Modern Culture

Many of Ernst's works from from Semaine de Bonte are used in The Mars Volta's designs

External links

Max-Ernst-Museum Brühl
Max-Ernst-Museum Brühl
  • Max-Ernst Museum Brühl
  • Fantasy Arts - Ernst paintings, biography, and historical information
  • Olga's Gallery - Images of Ernst art and a biography
  • Max Ernst at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
  • Available Works and Biography Galerie Ludorff, Duesseldorf, Germany
  • Ten Dreams Galleries
  • Will-O'-the-Wisp Max Ernst explained to younger generation
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