Max Ernst  (German, 1891-1976) 

Max Ernst (German, April 2, 1891–April 1, 1976) was a German painter, graphic artist, and sculptor who was one of the early pioneers of Surrealism and the Dada movement. Ernst was born in Brühl, near Cologne, Germany, and he was the third child in a family of nine children. Ernst''s father was an amateur painter and the young boy was exposed to art at a tender age. Ernst enrolled in the University of Bonn to study diverse subjects like literature, art history, psychology, psychiatry, and philosophy.

After several visits to asylum institutions, Ernst became interested in the kind of art the mental illness patients were producing, and he even began painting the same years. In 1911, Ernst joined Die Rheinischen Expressionisten after becoming friends with August Macke (German, 1987–1914), who was one of the leaders of the group. A year later, he visited Cologne, and was influenced by the works of Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) and other Post-Impressionists of the time. Ernst met Hans Arp (German-French, 1886–1966) in Cologne, and the two developed a friendship that was to last for the next fifty years. He served in the First World War, which affected him just as it did other artists of the time.

Ernst tended to produce works with Freudian metaphors, mythology, and memories from his childhood. A favorite theme of his was painting a birdlike creature with human-like characteristics; Janus (1973–1974) is an example of this type of work. In 1915, the artist went to Munich, met Paul Klee (Swiss, 1879–1940), and studied the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico (Italian, 1888–1978). It was also in this same year that made his first collages, such as Fiat Modes. Ernst, together with some of his friends and Johannes Theodor Baargeld (German, 1892–1927), founded the Dada Cologne chapter, and together they published a few magazines such as Der Strom for a few years.

In 1922, Ernst entered France illegally after failing to get the required documents. For a brief period in 1924, Ernst visited Monaco and Saigon, Vietnam, before returning to Paris, France, opening a studio a year later at 22, rue Tourlaque. Ernst was arrested by the Gestapo in 1939, but he escaped and fled, arriving in the United States in 1941. His treatise Beyond Painting was published in 1948, but he did not stay in the United States for long; he moved to the South of France in 1953.

Ernst''''''''''''''''s works can be found in places such as Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain, Tate Gallery, London, England, and Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Ernst died in Paris, France on April 1, 1976.

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Max Ernst, Lignes


Max Ernst
Auction: May 15, 2014
Leslie Hindman Auctioneers
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Max Ernst, La forêt, à l'aube (+ Forêt et soleil - Der Betterwald and 1956; 2 works)


Max Ernst
La forêt, à l'aube (+ Forêt et soleil - Der Betterwald and 1956; 2 works)

Auction: Apr 28, 2014
Phillips New York
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Max Ernst, Elfo sculpture


Max Ernst
Elfo sculpture

Auction: May 20, 2014
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Max Ernst, Figure (Danseuse) (from San Lazarro et ses amis)


Max Ernst
Figure (Danseuse) (from San Lazarro et ses amis)

Auction: May 3, 2014
Auktionshaus Kiefer
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Max Ernst, Festin


Max Ernst

Petersburg Press
Max Ernst, Les chiens ont soif (Jacques Prévert) (Die Hunde dürsten)


Max Ernst
Les chiens ont soif (Jacques Prévert) (Die Hunde dürsten)

Galerie Boisserée, J. & W. Boisserée GmbH
Max Ernst, Oiseaux en péril (Dorothea Tanning) (Vögel in Gefahr)


Max Ernst
Oiseaux en péril (Dorothea Tanning) (Vögel in Gefahr)

Galerie Boisserée, J. & W. Boisserée GmbH
Max Ernst, La reine, le fou et le cheval (Dame, Läufer und Springer)


Max Ernst
La reine, le fou et le cheval (Dame, Läufer und Springer)

Galerie Boisserée, J. & W. Boisserée GmbH
Max Ernst, Ohne Titel


Max Ernst
Ohne Titel

Galerie Boisserée, J. & W. Boisserée GmbH
Past auction results (7994)  View All
Max Ernst, L


Max Ernst
collage and India ink


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Max Ernst, O


Max Ernst
collage and India ink


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Max Ernst, E


Max Ernst
collage and India ink


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1891   Born in Brühl, Germany
1909   Studied philosophy at the Bonn University, Bonn, Germany
1911   Became a friend of August Macke and joined the Rheinische Expressionisten group in Bonn, Germany
1913   Met Guillaume Apollinaire and Robert Delaunay and traveled to Paris, France
1914   Met Jean Arp, who was to become a lifelong friend
1919   Became the leader of the Cologne Dada group, Cologne, Germany
1922   Moved to Paris to work with the Surrealists, Paris, France
1939   Was interned in France as an enemy alien
1941   Fled to the United States with Peggy Guggenheim, whom he married early in 1942
1953   Resettled in France after divorcing Peggy Guggenheim and marrying Dorthea Tanning
1954   Recipient, Grand Prize for painting at the Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
1976   Died in Paris, France
2010   De Chirico, Max Ernst, Magritte and Balthus: A Look Into the Invisible, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy
2009   Picasso et ses amis, Galerie für Kunst von Picasso, Dusseldorf, Germany
2008   Max Ernst. Surrealismus, Kunsthalle Göppingen, Göppingen, Germany (solo)
Max Ernst in the Garden of Nymph Ancolie, The Menil Collection, Houston, TX (solo)
Max Ernst. Dream and Revolution, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Denmark (solo)
Max Ernst. Une semaine de bonté, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany (solo)
Max Ernst - The Illustrated Books, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (solo)
Masterpieces, Galerie Ludorff, Dusseldorf, Germany
2007   Max Ernst und die Welt im Buch, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria (solo)
Max Ernst. Im Garten der Nymphe Ancolie, Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland (solo)
Max Ernst – Rückkehr nach Europa, Max Ernst Museum Brühl, Brühl, Germany (solo)
Max Ernst: Ballade du Soldat, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland (solo)
Max Ernst, National Gallery of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia (solo)
La Abstraction del Paisaje, Fundacion Juan March, Madrid, Spain
2006   Tapestries, Bass Museum of Art, Miami, FL
Max Ernst und sein surrealistisches Umfeld, Die Galerie - Frankfurt, Frankfurt/Main, Germany (solo)
Max Ernst, Helly Nahmad Gallery, London, UK (solo)
Sprengel macht Ernst - Max Ernst im Sprengel Museum Hannover , Sprengel Museum Hannover, Hannover, Germany (solo)
2005   Exil und Moderne, Kunsthalle St. Annen Lubeck, Lubeck, Germany
Max Ernst: A Retrospective, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York , NY (solo)
Max Ernst, Galerie Boisserée, Cologne, Germany (solo)
Max Ernst, Galerie Dreiseitel, Cologne. Germany (solo)
Max Ernst, Books and graphics, City Art Museum, Ljubljana, Slovenia (solo)
Max Ernst Ausgesuchte grafische Arbeiten, Galerie Art 204, Dusseldorf, Germany (solo)
2004   Max Ernst, Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje, Skopje, Macedonia (solo)
Living Dust, Norwich Gallery, Norwich, UK
2003   Arbeiten auf Papier, Galerie Dreiseitel, Cologne, Germany
Max Ernst, Malingue, Paris, France (solo)
Max Ernst - Im Inneren des Blicks, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany (solo)
2002   Farbig.Schwarz.Weiss, Galerie Rieder GmbH, Munich, Germany
Max Ernst - Lithographien und Graphiken, Kunsthalle, Luckenwalde, Germany (solo)
Max Ernst - The Graphic Work, Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent, Belgium ; Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent, Belgium (solo)
Max Ernst, Museum Liner, Appenzell, Switzerland (solo)
2001   The Proper Meaning, Zwirner & Wirth, New York, NY
Max Ernst - (Brühl 1891 - 1976 Paris) - Galerie Boisserée, Cologne, Germany (solo)
1999   Kopfe und Gesichter, Galerie Stubler, Hanover, Germany
1980   Max Ernst: Bücher, Collagen, Frottagen, Zeichnungen, Radierungen, Städtische Galerie Nordhorn, Nordhorn, Germany (solo)
1976   Max Ernst: 1891-1976, MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (solo)
1975   Retrospectiive, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, France (solo)
1961   Max Ernst, MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (solo)
1932   Julien Levy Gallery, New York, NY
1926   Ernst, Galerie Jeanne Bucher, Paris, France (solo)
1921   Galerie au Sans Pareil, Paris, France
  Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Reina Sofía National Museum, Madrid, Spain
Tate Gallery, London, UK
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain
2001    M. E. Warlick, Franklin Rosemont. Max Ernst and Alchemy: A Magician in Search of Myth (Surrealist). Texas: University of Texas Press, 2001