Max Ernst

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Biography of Max Ernst ( 1891-1976 )

Max Ernst was a German painter and sculptor born in 1891 in Brühl. He began studying philosophy in 1909 at the University of Bonn, but he quickly abandoned his studies to devote himself entirely to art. In 1911, he met the members of the group Blaue Reiter with whom he exhibited two years later.

His first paintings, made between 1909 and 1913, are expressionist, and became progressively surrealist. It was also in 1913 that he went to Paris and met Guillaume Apollinaire and Robert Delaunay.

During the First World War, Max Ernst found in his colleagues of the Dada movement the same idea of rebellion. He came back to Germany to serve his country, taking an active part in the Dada movement in Cologne, which became, thanks to him, an active center of the surrealist movement.

He discovered the metaphysical painting of the painter De Chirico in 1919 and became, in 1921, the friend of Paul Eluard. Max Ernst explored dreamlike painting, focused on the inner world. The titles of his works influenced the interpretation of his paintings. He invented, in 1925, the technique of « frottage », which used pencil rubbings of objects as a source of images. During his travels, he made collages and tried sculpture in the 30s.

During World War II, Max Ernst moved to New York. He continued his art with Marc Chagall and Marcel Duchamp, while contributing to the birth of abstract expressionism. He nevertheless returned to France in the 50s and received an award at the Venice Biennale. Retrospective exhibitions were organized in New York, Chicago, London, Cologne and Zurich. He continued to work and explore his art until his death in 1976.

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