"Every normal human being (and not merely the 'artist') has an inexhaustible store of buried images in his subconscious, it is merely a matter of courage or liberating procedures ... of voyages into the unconscious, to bring pure and unadulterated found objects to light." Max Ernst, 1934
1891-1976 German painter and poet, one of the 20th Century Painters
Born in Bruehl, near Cologne, Germany. Studied Philosophy at Bonn University. Essentially a self taught artist, he did receive a full, classical education of the time. He had a command of Philosophy.
His work was displayed in the Der Sturm gallery.
He founded the Colgne group of the Dada Movement in 1919. His paintings included found objects. He also did a lot of work in collage. He was friends with and had a lot of influence on the Surrealists. Coined the term frottage which preceded automatic writing later used by Andre Breton.
In 1920, he and Baargeld published "Die Schammade" the major publication of Cologne Dada.
In 1922, he moved to Paris where he took a major role in the founding of Surrealism up until he was "excommunicated" by Breton.
In 1923, he exhibited 3 works in the Salon of the Independent Artists
In 1930, he appeared in the film "L'Age D'Or" which was made by Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel.
In 1937 his work was hung as part of the Entartete Kunst show, being labeled as "Degenrate Art" by the Nazis.
In 1939, he was falsely accused of spying and put in a prisoner of war camp. He escaped from the camp. He was then chased across Europe by the Gestapo. Ending up in Marseilles, he met Breton and made peace with him. He then made his escape to New York.
In 1951 he returns to Paris to live.
If you've never seen his work, I strongly recommend it, I was amazed by how wild it was.
Museum of Modern Art, New York "The Hat Makes the Man", 1920
Some of his other works include:
People who were associated with Ernst at one point or another:
His work appears in the permanent collection of:
In 1976 he died in Paris at the age of 85, he was buried in Le Cimetière du Père Lachaise.
Motherwell, Robert "The Dada Painters and Poets: An Anthology", Harvard University Press, 1951
Richter, Hans, "dada: art and anti-art", Thames and Hudson, London, 1997.
Last Updated 05.09.04