Max Ernst (1891, Brühl - 1976, Paris)
Oiseaux (Birds), 1970
33.5 cm x 61 cm
Signed in plate
Edition of 1500
In perfect condition
Max Ernst's attaction for birds was prevalent in his work. His alterego, which he named Loplop, was a bird. The artist considered that this alter-ego was an extension of himself stemming from an early confusion of birds and humans. He said that one night when he was young, he woke up and found that his beloved bird had died, and a few minutes later his father announced that his sister was born.
"Painting is not for me either decorative amusement, or the plastic invention of felt reality; it must be every time: invention, discovery, revelation." (Max Ernst)
He was fascinated with the art of the mentally ill patients - that he discovered through his asylum visits during the university studies in Bonn -, and by the works of Sigmund Freud, whose dream theories he applied in order to explore the source of his own creativity.
Max Ernst, Oiseaux
Max Ernst, a German-born pioneer of Dada and Surrealism and a naturalized citizen of both the United States and France was one of the most important artists of the 20th century, an original and highly innovative painter, sculptor and printmaker.
An artillery officer in World War I, Ernst was deeply traumatized by the horrors he witnessed on the front. These feelings nurtured his vision of the modern world as irrational, an idea that became the nucleus of his artwork.
Max Ernst's memories of the war interwoven with fragments from his childhood helped him create absurd, yet revelatory scenes in his artworks. Channelling along the dream-like paintings of Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst created a new original art from the deep unconscious imagery.
His innovation also reflected on the art techniques: he is the inventor of frottage (making a rubbing from a textured surface), grattage (frottage applied to painting), and decalcomania (manipulation of a still wet painting by pressing a second surface against it and then pulling it away).
Together with Hans Arp and social activist Johannes Theodor Baargeld, Max Ernst founded the Cologne Dada group in 1919. Three years later he moved to Paris, where his friendship with André Breton and Paul Éluard led to active participation in the Surrealist movement.
The famous American artistic patron Peggy Guggenheim acquired a number of Max Ernst's works, which she displayed in her new gallery in London, in 1938. Peggy Guggenheim became Ernst's third wife between 1942–1946.
In America, Max Ernst came along with other artists and friends (Marcel Duchamp and Marc Chagall) who had fled from the war and lived in New York City.
Many young artists there felt attracted by Ernst's peculiar voice. Max Ernst helped inspire the development of Abstract expressionism. In particular, Jackson Pollock was enthralled upon seeing the extraordinary works of Ernst.
Max Ernst appeared in the 1930 film "L'Âge d'Or", directed by the Spanish Surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel.