Christie's /Nov 1, 2016
€10,983.98 - €13,729.98
Artworks in Arcadja3133
Some works of Max ErnstExtracted between 3,133 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Christie's -Nov 17, 2016 - New-yorkLot number: 1281
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Max Ernst (1891-1976) La plus belle signed, numbered, dated and inscribed ‘Max Ernst 7/7 MA CAST 99’’’’’’’’ (on the right side of the base) bronze with black patina Height: 72 in. (183 cm.) Conceived in 1967; this bronze version cast in 1999 “When I come to a dead end in my paintings, which repeatedly happens, sculpture provides me with a way out. Because sculpture is even more like playing a game than painting is. In sculpture, both hands play a role, just as they do in love. It’’’’’’’’s as though I were taking a vacation, to return to painting afterwards, refreshed” - Max Ernst After having fled Europe for America at the outbreak of World War II, Ernst returned to France in 1953 with his fourth wife and fellow artist, Dorothea Tanning. He was welcomed upon his return with international acclaim as a master of modern art. In 1966, the year before he conceived La plus belle in stone, Ernst received the celebrated Grand Prize for Painting at the Venice Biennale. By 1967, the couple had settled in Huismes, in the serene countryside of the Loire Valley so that Ernst could pursue his artistic practice in relative privacy (fig. 1). It was in that pastoral location that, as Uwe Schneede states, the artist created works “filled with a fairytale atmosphere, witty, ironic and hinting at deeper implications” (The Essential Max Ernst, London, 1972, p. 195). La plus belle is part of a group of nine monumental freestanding sculptures that Ernst conceived while in Huismes. It retains the whimsy and fantastical nature of his earlier Surrealist and Dadaist works. Although the echoes of his integral involvement in the development of both Dadaism and Surrealism resonate within these late works, the characteristic highly imaginative imagery and playful sensibility representative of the artist’’’’’’’’s mature personal aesthetic transcends simple categorization. French writer Georges Bataille aptly describes Ernst as “the philosopher who plays,” as is evident in the friendly smile, off-set eyes, and twisted torso of La plus belle (quoted in op. cit., 2013, p. 295). Recalling the exhibition of the plaster version of this sculpture at Galerie Alexandre Iolas in Paris in 1968 (fig. 2), Mimi Johnson, Tanning’’’’’’’’s niece, recollected the good-humored nature of her uncle which was visibly manifested in his sculptures: “I remember when ‘La Plus Belle’’’’’’’’ was finished and delivered to the Iolas Gallery in Paris, and her neck was broken in transit…And Max just laughed” (quoted in H. Moss, “Max Ernst’’’’’’’’s Surprisingly Constant Medium, Stone,” T Magazine, 21 October, 2015). The distinctly feminine shape and graceful curvature of La plus belle, albeit abstracted and pared down, hints at it being an homage to Tanning. Fittingly, in 1961, Ernst described his relationship with sculpture in romantic terms: “[S]culpture originates in an embrace, two-handed, like love itself. It’’’’’’’’s the most simple, the most primeval art” (quoted in A. Bosquet, “Sculptures de Max Ernst,” Max Ernst, Oeuvre sculpté, 1913-1961, exh. cat., Le Point Cardinal, Paris, 1961). The totemic quality of this anthropomorphic form, mask-like face, and overall resemblance to early Cycladic sculpture, illustrates the personal lexicon of imagery that Ernst had developed with a notable emphasis on the influences of primitive and tribal art. Regarding this influence, John Russell emphasizes: “Ernst was a pioneer collector of what was once called ‘primitive art’’’’’’’’” (quoted in op. cit., 2013, pp. 206-207). According to Jürgen Pech, other casts of La plus belle are included in the collection of the Max Ernst Museum in Brühl (this version is installed as a permanent loan at the Kreissparkasse Cologne), the Botero Museum in Bogotá and the Museum Scharf-Gerstenberg in Berlin, as well as in the collection of Ursula and Heiner Pietzsch in Berlin. (fig. 1) The artist in his garden in Huismes in 1963. (fig. 2) The plaster version of La plus belle installed at the Galerie Alexandre Iolas reflected in a window looking onto the Boulevard Saint-Germain in Paris, January 1968. Provenance Alan Koppel Gallery, Chicago. Acquired from the above by the present owner, May 2000. Pre-Lot Text PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION Literature J. Pech, Max Ernst, Plastiche Werke, Cologne, 2005, p. 192 (detail of another cast illustrated; another cast illustrated again, p. 193). W. Spies, ed., Max Ernst, Life and Work, Cologne, 2005, p. 301 (plaster version illustrated). W. Spies, S. and G. Metken and J. Pech, Max Ernst, Werke, 1964-1969, Cologne, 2007, p. 380, no. 4594,III (another cast and plaster version illustrated).
Auction: Bonhams -Nov 16, 2016 - New-yorkLot number: 24
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MAX ERNST (1891-1976) Tremblement de terre printanier signed and dated 'max ernst 64' (lower right) oil on canvas 51 1/8 x 63 3/4 in (130 x 162 cm) Painted in 1964 Footnotes Provenance The artist's studio. Dorothea Tanning, by inheritance from the above. Thence by descent to the present owner. Exhibited Paris, Galerie Alexander Iolas, Max Ernst Cap Capricorne, 22 May-14 June 1964, no. 9. New York, The Elkon Gallery, Max Ernst, Sunsets and Twilight (The Postwar Years), 1 November 1989 - 20 June 1990, p. 11 (illustrated in color). New York, Cavaliero Fine Arts, Homage to Max Ernst, 10 December 1991 - 1 February 1992. Literature E. Quinn, Max Ernst, New York, 1977, illustrated p. 356-357. W. Spies and S. and G. Metken, and J. Pech, Max Ernst, werke 1964-1969, Cologne, 2007, no. 3836 (illustrated, and titled Trois tremblements de terre). Tremblement de terre printanier is from a small group of large format paintings by Max Ernst that were exhibited at Galerie Alexander Iolas in Paris in 1964. John Russell, in discussion with the artist, saw the significance of this group: '1964 produced a group of large canvases in which the image was as if penciled or engraved upon a ground in which one color strove to break through another. Sometimes ... the picture was as near as not to a pure pale monochrome ground on which the image was faintly incised. At other times the colored ground seemed to shift back and forth, now following the incised line, now pulling against it, the series as a whole represents a renewal of Max Ernst's creative impulse and a farewell to the intimisme of the years before.' (J. Russell, Max Ernst: Life and Work, London, 1967, pp. 177-78). The privately-printed catalogue of the Iolas exhibition, itself part of the all-encompassing artwork, accompanies each illustration with Ernst's characteristically sibylline verse. The present painting is paired with 'Voici trois tremblements de terre/ Un printanier/ Un triste/ Un clandestin' ('Here are three earthquakes: One spring-like, One sad, One hidden'). The handlist for the exhibition allows us to identify the specific title of the present work as Tremblement de terre printanier: despite Ernst's usual relaxed attitude to connecting titles to compositions it is tempting to read into the work a feeling for tectonic shifts in the deep, of a lush world choked with the vegetation of verdant spring in which mysterious forces might lurk, analogous to the mysterious forest of his early works and his German heritage. This contrasts with the companion piece Tremblement de terre clandestin (Caspar H. Schübbe Collection, Switzerland; W. Spies, op. cit., p. 3, no. 3832), in which the tightly braced surface lives up to its secretive name. A third work from the group, Le ciel épouse la terre (Menil Collection, Houston; W. Spies, op. cit., p. 4, no. 3835) continues the theme of great forces of nature standing in for the hidden currents of the subconscious. In these works Ernst combines impressive scale with an overtly physical technique utilizing grattage, scraping away at the canvas in a manner which recalls the act of mining or excavation. Grattage was one of Ernst's most innovative gifts to the evolution of Twentieth Century Art. Essentially the application of the frottage technique for works on paper to painting on canvas, grattage allows the introduction of found and chance effects into the traditional picture space. Ernst's technique involved stretching a loose canvas covered with a thin layer of pigment over textured surfaces such as woodgrain, wire or stone. Scraping through the paint surface with a spatula or palette knife reveals random patterns and ghostly traces of form which can be manipulated into the composition. This technique lends itself to the closer examination of natural forms, and although Ernst was never a landscape painter as such broad panoramas became in increasing part of his oeuvre. Although surreal in effect, grattage was 'ultimately derived from nature itself, [and] gave rise to landscape visions which, thanks to their partial imitation of the growth patterns and textures of paint, evoked nature far more intensely than the traditional techniques of realism' (K. von Maur in W. Spies (ed.), Max Ernst: A Retrospective, exh. cat., Tate Gallery, London, 1991, p. 343). The present work shows at least two campaigns of grattage. Striations in the dark blue-black ground show that the canvas has been stretched and crumpled over the grain of wooden boards, giving an impression of deep geological strata. Over this the artist has lain a slip in a lighter turquoise green. Then either with the butt of the brush or by laying the canvas over coiled rope he has drawn or scraped through twisting contours that build the composition to show the darker tones underneath, adding highlights in lighter blue or yellow. Although apparently random, this technique is in fact tightly structured. The composition is not left to chance but built using the inspiration of an existing element or memory and with aid of 'found' elements along a carefully planned framework. Ernst stated, perhaps surprisingly, that among the European artists in New York during World War II he felt a closer affinity with the rigorous compositions of Piet Mondrian than with his fellow surrealists. Grattage and an understanding of the physicality of painting was also his gift to the rising generation of American artists working in New York. Jackson Pollock attributed to Ernst in part the inspiration for his drip technique, which grew from conversations between the two artists. Barnett Newman also took from him, as John Golding noted: 'In 1946 Newman was quite literally using scraping techniques, coupled with taking rubbings of textured surfaces pressed to the reverse side of the canvas. These techniques, 'grattage' and 'frottage', were dear to the Surrealists and Newman's brief adoption of them perhaps ultimately represents his greatest debt to the expatriate French movement. The Command, of 1946 [now Öffentliche Kunstsammlung Basel], for example, reads almost as a textbook demonstration of them: 'grattage' or scraping to the left, 'frottage' or rubbing to the right. These two main compositional areas are separated by the white vertical of virgin or lightly stained canvas, achieved by the laying on of masking tape to isolate or separate the two larger areas awaiting the application of texture. Already the narrow vertical or ray was becoming a dominant motif for Newman (J. Golding, Paths to the Absolute, London, 2000, p. 191). Although he had explored the possibilities in previous works, notably 100,000 Doves (1924; Private Collection), in Tremblement de terre printanier Ernst demonstrates that the flow of influence from the rising generation of the New York School went both ways. The use of scale, with an 'all-over' composition with a decentralized picture plane devoid of illusionistic tendencies or Cubist tricks, were all learnt in response to the evolution of Abstract Expressionism.
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Objektsbeskrivning MAX ERNST Germany 1891-1976 Tête blanche Signed Max Ernst. Dated on the reverse 57. Oil on canvas, 35 x 27 cm. . PROVENANCE Edouard Loeb, Paris The Mayor Gallery, London IngaBritt and Arne Lundberg, Gothenburg, Sweden . EXHIBITED Mayor Gallery, London 1959, catalogue No 10 . LITERATURE Max Ernst Oeuvre-Katalog Werke 1954-63, Catalogue Raisonné, Wittenborns Art Books, catalogue No 3259, page 111 . PUBLISHED Art revue: Cimaise. Revue de l'Art Actuel, Nov-Dec 1957, No 2, illustrated page 21 . . Max Ernst was a pioneer in both Dadaism and surrealism. Through painting the subconscious in an automatic style, he subsequently came to influence the American abstract expressionists. He shocked his public with his dream-like pictures, which were often sharply critical of society, but always full of energy and humour. . Ernst was one of the first artists to apply Freud's dream theories in an attempt to explore the source of his own creativity. He sought to create a flow between his creative work and his psyche with a view to tapping into his inner child. By applying this method to his assemblage works and paintings, he aimed to liberate his original feelings and slay the demons of his personal traumas. Toward the end of the 1920s, Ernst created a separate persona in Loplop - Superior of birds, a bird-like being tied to Max Ernst the person, sometimes winged - always sexual. Loplop was not just Ernst's personal symbol, it was also his compère and guide on the inner voyage. . In the early 1930s, he met the art collector Peggy Guggenheim, and they soon became a couple. It was thanks to her that he was able to emigrate to the United States on the outbreak of the Second World War. Ernst's automatic style of painting from the subconscious inspired a number of artists in the gradually developing abstract expressionist movement. His marriage to Peggy Guggenheim did not last long, and in 1946 he married the artist Dorothea Tanning, with whom he moved to the South of France in 1953. .The painting Tête blanche is from 1957, painted while he was living in France, during a period in which his automatic painting had reached its peak. He has used a palette knife to apply light grey colour such that an underlying sea of colour can only just be discerned through a diagonal network of lines. There is a lighter patch in the central area of the composition, allowing a suggestive face looking out at the observer to be sensed.
Auction: Christie's -Nov 1, 2016 - New-yorkLot number: 30
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MAX ERNST (1891-1976) Untitled, plate 2 from Fiat Modes pereat ars lithograph, on heavy light tan paper, 1919, signed in pencil, numbered 'No. 4', from the rare deluxe Museumsausgabe edition, the full sheet, surface soiling, primarily in places to the upper right of the subject, a pale moisture stain in the lower left corner, otherwise in generally good condition Sheet: 17 1/8 x 12 ½ in. (435 x 318 mm.)
Auction: De Vuyst -Oct 22, 2016 - LokerenLot number: 396
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Max Ernst 1891 - 1976, Germany La ballade du soldat (Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes) (1972) Album includes 34 original colour lithographs - Sig. in pencil by the artist - English version ex. nr. 92/199 - 41,5 x 30,5 cm Notes Ed. Atelier Pierre Chave, Vence Lithographs printed and colophon signed in pencil by the artist in 1972. The text was translated into english in 1972 and printed in 1989 in atelier Chave, Vence.