Ripley Auctions

Lot 198

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Description: Max Ernst
(German, 1891-1976), attributed
Big Mouth
oil on canvas
signed lower right.
Thought to be an early work, circa 1920s.
Label and stamp verso in Bulgarian with handwritten notations.
Provenance: Anna Okleva, Sofia, Bulgaria.
Conserved 2011 by Linda Witkowski, Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Biography from Auctionata
Max Ernst was born in 1891. The German painter, graphic artist, and sculptor studied philosophy, psychology and art history at the University of Bonn.

As a part of his studies, he worked on the art of mental illness and often visited museums. Ernst decided to devote himself entirely to painting in 1912, thanks to the friendship and encouragement of August Macke.

Along with Johnannes Baargeld, and Hans Arp, he co-founded the DADA group in 1919. In 1922, he moved to Paris, where he joined the Surrealist circle. He became one of its most important exponents.

During World War Second, he went in exile to America in 1941. In 1953, Max Ernst went back to France and became a French citizen. Ernst is known for his surreal, fantastic images with enigmatic figures.

Biography from the archives of Askart:
Of German birth, Max Ernst became one of the leading modernist painters in Europe in the early and mid 20th century and was one of the leading figures of the Dada and Surrealist movements in Paris and New York. Many of his paintings reflect the terror that he experienced during World War II as well as the style of Surrealism that he adopted from French influences.

In Berlin, he exhibited in 1913, and by 1919 had founded the Dada group in Cologne, Germany with Hans Arp. He lived in France from 1920 to 1940, and was drawn there to exhibit with the Surrealists led by Andre Breton. Ernst was in the first Surrealist exhibit in Paris, which was in 1925.

In 1939, he was held in a French prison camp on the false accusation that he was spying. He escaped, only to discover that his lover Leonora Carrington had had an emotional breakdown and had sold his house for a bottle of brandy, leaving him homeless. Shortly after, in 1940, he successfully sought refuge in the United States and lived in New York City where Marcel Duchamp and Andre Breton had also migrated. They and Ernst founded the Surrealist magazine.

He married artist Dorothea Tanning, and during 1943, the couple visited Sedona, where they stayed for three years. By the early 1950s, he and Tanning were in France, and in 1958, he became a French citizen.

Peter Hastings Falk (Editor), Who Was Who in American Art
13 1/4" x 11 1/4" (sight), 14 3/4" x 13" (frame).

  • Dimensions: 13 1/4" x 11 1/4" (sight), 14 3/4" x 13" (frame).
  • Artist Name: Max Ernst
  • Medium: oil on canvas

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September 26, 2020 11:00 AM EDT

Indianapolis, IN, US

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