Happy Birthday Max Ernst!! Ernst was born in 1891 in Germany. He is best known for his collages and use of frottage. He began as a Dada activist but relocated to Paris and aligned himself with Andre Breton and the Surrealist movement in 1924. Both groups stressed not “letting the artist get in the way of the art”. Ernst was influential in introducing collage and frottage techniques to the artworld. The image below is his Two Children are Threatened by a Nightingale. The open gate beckons us into the dreamlike vision. Ernst did not believe in imposing a title upon a work, simply let the picture suggest the title, or in this case, the title came first, from a line of his own poetry.
Collage-picture made up of many materials, snippets of quotation and poetry, frottage.
Frottage-Rubbing soft medium over a thin paper placed over a textured surface to create an approximate image of the texture.
Surrealism-Began in 1924 by Andre Breton, Surrealism was an attempt to free artists’ minds to allow for creation from the irrational wanderings of one’s subconscience. Breton wrote the Surrealist Manifesto, among his circle were Ernst, DeChirico, Duchamp, Klee and later joined by Magritte, Tanguy and Dali. Breton described Surrealism as being “based on the belief in the superior reality of…the dream, in the disinterested play of thought.”