|Presenting a selection of 180 paintings, collages, and sculptures, as well as relevant examples of illustrated books and documents, the exhibition, first seen at the Albertina in Vienna, brings together works related to all of Max Enrst's periods, discoveries, and techniques, thereby introducing his life and œuvre within a both biographic and historical context.
Together with Matisse, Picasso, Beckmann, Kandinsky, and Warhol, Max Ernst no doubt numbers among the leading figures of 20th-century art history. An early protagonist of Dadaism, a pioneer of Surrealism, and the inventor of such sophisticated techniques as collage, frottage, grattage, decalcomania, and oscillation, he withdraws his work from catchy definition.
Max Ernst (1891-1976) was among the most versatile artists in modernism. Following his beginnings as a rebellious Dadaist in Cologne, Ernst moved to Paris in 1922, where he soon became one of the leading lights of Surrealism. During the Second World War, he was twice interned as an enemy alien, and was set free thanks to the efforts of his friend, the poet Paul Eluard. In 1941 he escaped into American exile, where he found new impulses and at the same time provided inspiration to the generation of young American artists. A decade later, he returned to war-devastated Europe, where the once-celebrated Max Ernst seemed to have been forgotten. Yet soon he was discovered to be one of the most fascinating and versatile artists of the 20th century. In 1958 he was granted French citizenship.
This exhibition is being compiled in collaboration with the Fondation Beyeler.
Guest curators: Werner Spies and Julia Drost
Fondation Beyeler Website