Max Ernst

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Ernst, Max

(mäks ĕrnst) 1891–1976, German painter. After World War I, Ernst joined the DadaDada
or Dadaism
, international nihilistic movement among European artists and writers that lasted from 1916 to 1922. Born of the widespread disillusionment engendered by World War I, it originated in Zürich with a 1916 party at the Cabaret Voltaire and the
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 movement in Paris and then became a founder of surrealismsurrealism
, literary and art movement influenced by Freudianism and dedicated to the expression of imagination as revealed in dreams, free of the conscious control of reason and free of convention.
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. Apart from the medium of collagecollage
[Fr.,=pasting], technique in art consisting of cutting and pasting natural or manufactured materials to a painted or unpainted surface—hence, a work of art in this medium.
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, for which he is well known, Ernst developed other devices to express his fantastic vision. In frottage he rubbed black chalk on paper held against various materials such as leaves, wood, and fabrics to achieve bizarre effects. He was also the author of several volumes of collage novels. A note of whimsy often characterizes his dreamlike landscapes while other works reveal an allegorical imagination. Two Children Are Threatened by a Nightingale and several other works are in the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.

Bibliography

See his Beyond Painting (1948); studies by J. Russell (1967) and U. M. Schneede (1973); R. Rainwater, Max Ernst, Beyond Surrealism: An Exhibition of the Artist's Books and Prints (1986); W. A. Camfield, ed., Max Ernst: Dada and the Dawn of Surrealism (1993); W. Spies, ed., Max Ernst: A Retrospective (2005).

Ernst, Max (Maximillian)

(1891–1976) painter; born in Brühl, Germany. He studied philosophy at the University of Bonn (1911), traveled widely, lived in the U.S.A. during the 1940s, and settled in France (1953). A surrealist and Dadaist, he used the subconscious as his inspiration, as seen in Oedipus Rex (1921) and Polish Rider (1954).