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Max Ernst

A retrospective at Palazzo Reale, Milan

Until February 26, 2023, Palazzo Reale in Milan is hosting an exhibition dedicated to Max Ernst, the German-born but naturalized French-American surrealist painter, sculptor, poet and art theorist. Son of art, Ernst was born in Brühl, North Rhine-Westphalia, in 1891; in 1912, he founded the group ‘Das Junge Rheinland’ in Cologne. Also in Cologne, he met his lifelong friend, the Dadaist Hans (‘Jean’) Arp. 
Max Ernst is considered a pioneer of the techniques of grattage and frottage. A multifaceted artist, he made an album of lithographs, inspired by Giorgio de Chirico; in 1929, he published his first novel-collage ‘La Femme 100 têtes’, and then contributed to the film ‘L’âge d’or’ by Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel. In 1938, driven by disagreements with Breton, he left the Surrealist group and moved to the Avignon area with painter Leonora Carrington. In 1941, thanks to the help of Peggy Guggenheim, his third wife, he escaped from a French detention center and found refuge in the United States, where he also experimented with dripping. There he made important sculptures and collaborated with the surrealist magazine VVV (founded by Breton himself). After his return to Europe, Ernst won the Prime Minister’s Award for a foreign painter at the 27th International Biennial Art Exhibition, in Venice, in 1954. His life, intense and immersed in art, ended in 1976 in Paris. 

Discover Olafur Eliasson in Florence

Palazzo Reale (Royal Palace) in Milan is celebrating Max Ernst, with the first solo retrospective in Italy, curated by Martina Mazzotta and Jürgen Pech. The exhibition, which features more than 400 works, is promoted and produced by the City of Milan-Cultura and Palazzo Reale with Electa, in collaboration with Madeinart. Here the artist is illustrated as a neo-Renaissance humanist who created a broad and varied spectrum of works, including paintings, drawings, collages, illustrated books, sculptures and jewelry. The selection includes works on loan from many foundations and private collectors, and encompasses the four main periods of his creative work. (Assia Karaguiozova)

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Pietà or Revolution by Night, 1923, oil on canvas, Tate London, Max Ernst by SIAE, 2022
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Oedipus Rex, 1922, oil on canvas, private collection, Switzerland, Max Ernst by SIAE, 2022
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The Fireside Angel, 1937, oil on canvas, private collection, Switzerland, Alamy stock photo, Max Ernst by SIAE, 2022

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La fête à Seillans, 1964, oil on canvas, Centre Pompidou, Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne/Centre de création industrielle. RMN Grand Palais. Max Ernst by SIAE, 2022. Photo: George Meguerditchian

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