the surrealists max ernst and joan miro n.
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The Surrealists: Max Ernst and Joan Miro. Max Ernst. Max Ernst: Early Life. B. 1891 in Br ü hl, Germany. Enrolled in the University of Bonn to study philosophy, art history, psychology and literature in 1909 Decided to become a painter in 1911

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max ernst early life
Max Ernst: Early Life
  • B. 1891 in Brühl, Germany.
  • Enrolled in the University of Bonn to study philosophy, art history, psychology and literature in 1909
  • Decided to become a painter in 1911
  • Became involved with the artists surrounding August Macke, an expressionist painter
  • Exhibited for the first time in 1912 with Macke’s group, Die Rheinischen Expressionisten(The Rhineland Expressionists)
max ernst early l ife cont
Max Ernst: Early L ife (cont.)
  • Wrote art criticism for the newspaper Volksmund in the summer and fall of 1912
  • Enlisted in the Twenty-third Field Artillery Regiment in Koblenz on August 24, 1914.
  • Served from July 1915 to March 1916 in the artillery division
  • Suffered minor head and hand injuries
  • Granted a military leave of absence and exhibited over fifty works in a two man exhibit in January 1916.
dada years
Dada Years
  • Exhibit entitled “Max Ernst: George Muche”
  • Continued to publish articles on art during the war
  • Married Luise Amelie Straus, an art historian on October 17, 1918
  • Settled in Cologne in 1918
  • Created and led the Cologne Dada group with Johannes Theodor Baargeld in autumn 1919
  • Produced first collages in 1919
dada years cont
Dada Years (cont.)
  • Dada: “A western Europe artistic and literary movement (1916-23) that sought the discovery of authentic reality through the abolition of traditional culture and aesthetic forms.”
  • Cologne Dadaists experimented with photomontage, use of everyday objects as artistic materials, and incoherent juxtapositions
  • On April 12, 1920 Ernst & Baargeld published Die Schammade, a major publication of the Cologne Dadaists
dada years cont1
Dada Years (cont.)
  • Ernst was the center of the Cologne Dada movement, and called himself “Dada Ernst”
  • Believed that Dada had an honest side under its absurdity
  • Organized a 1920 exhibit of his collages at the Au Sans Pareil bookstore
  • In 1920 a Dada exhibit was closed by the Cologne police on grounds of obscenity
  • The charges were eventually dropped and the exhibit was reopened
new techniques
New Techniques
  • Ernst’s son Ulrich was born on June 24, 1920
  • Ernst moved to Paris (abandoning his wife and child) in 1922 and began to paint reliefs
  • Reliefs: “Projections of figures or forms from a flat background, as in sculpture, or the apparent projection of such shapes in a painting or drawing.”
  • Ernst collaborated with poet Paul Eluard on a book of poetry and collages called “The Misfortunes of the Immortals.”
  • Book released on July 25, 1922
new techniques1
New Techniques
  • In the summer of 1925 Ernst perfected his ‘frottage’ technique
  • In this technique, Ernst first rubbed paper with black lead.
  • He next applied layers of paint, with the darkest layer last.
  • Ernst them scraped away the layers to reveal the lightest color.
new techniques2
New Techniques
  • Ernst also employed his own version of Decalcomania developed by surrealist painter Oscar Dominguez.
  • In this technique, paper or paint was applied to the surface of glass, and then peeled away.
  • Most surrealists left the spontaneous design untouched, but Ernst modified his pieces to show cities, forests, and animal forms.
later years
Later Years
  • Over the next few years Ernst would experiment with some of his favorite themes:
  • Torn shapes, bird-people, transfigured forests or cities, apparitions and landscaped of crystals and shells.
  • Ernst was accused of spying and interned at a camp in Milles, but managed to escape to New York.
later years cont
Later Years (cont.)
  • While in New York, Ernst contributed to the ‘drip’ style of painting that would be used in the future by abstract expressionists
  • Ernst lives in Arizona until 1949 with his new wife, Dorothea Tanning
  • He sculpted and painted deserts with crystalline structures
  • Ernst accepted a prize in painting from the Venice Biennale in 1954
later years cont1
Later Years (cont.)
  • Ernst returned to France in 1953, and by this time had acquired international acclaim
  • His later work included collages made from everyday objects such as lace, cages, and blowtorches, frottages, and bronze sculptures.
  • Ernst died on April 1, 1976.