Born Feb. 21, 1909, in Luzern. Swiss painter and graphic artist.
Erni studied in Luzern from 1924 to 1928 and at the Julian Academy in Paris in 1928 and 1929. He was influenced by P. Picasso, G. Braque, and J. Miró. His style is marked by an elegant play of lines that sometimes delineate a recognizable form and sometimes create a “poetic sketch,” that is, an abstract rendering of an object. Erni’s art reflects the humanist search for an ideal of harmony in opposition to the chaos of the contemporary bourgeois world.
Erni’s paintings include easel paintings and murals; such as the mural Einstein (1954, Museum of Ethnography, Neuchátel). His other works include numerous drawings and engravings (primarily lithographs), such as illustrations to Plato’s Symposium (1941) and P. Valéry’s narrative poem The Song of Narcissus (1955) and the lithograph Circle of Horses (1955). Erni also created scenery for the theater.