Saturday, March 5, 2011

Max Ernst - The Eye of Silence

***Ya know, I like sharing information and interests, but a blog is a good way to create a database of favorite artists and their works.***

The Eye of Silence, 1943-44.  Oil on canvas.
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis
For some reason, this is my favorite painting by perhaps my favorite surrealist artist, Max Ernst.  Incidentally, I spent part of my childhood in St. Louis, and I'm glad it's home to the painting. 
Eye enclosing the theatre at Besancon, c. 1800.
Bibliotheque des Arts Decoratifs, Paris
With devastation, it's uncertain if there is sublimation or if there is schizophrenia of the public panopticon of Ledoux's eye, or both, or a glance from primordiality. 

Europe After the Rain, 1940-42.  Oil on canvas.
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT
It has similaries to another favorite, both works made through decalcomania.
Somewhat relatedly, I highly recommend getting Werner Spies: The Eye and the Word: Collected Writings on Art and Literature, The Gagosian Edition (Abrams, 2011), 10 volumes slipcased in a design by Andreas Gursky.  Spies, former director of Musee nationale d'art moderne, Centre Pompidou, is the preeminent scholar of Max Ernst.  An appreciation of Ernst is not yet complete without Spies' books.  Do find and get them because they're becoming increasingly rare, and mint copies of older ones no longer exist.  My favorite is Max Ernst Collages: The Invention of the Surrealist Universe (Abrams, 1991).  Others are:

Max Ernst (Abrams, 1968)
Max Ernst 1950-1970: The Return of La Belle Jardiniere (Abrams, 1971)
Max Ernst-Loplop: The Artist in the Third Person (George Braziller, 1983)
Max Ernst Frottages (Thames & Hudson, 1986)
Max Ernst: A Retrospective (Prestel, 1991)
Max Ernst: Dada and the Dawn of Surrealism (Prestel, 1993)
Max Ernst: A Retrospective (Yale University Press, 2005)
Max Ernst: Life and Work (Thames & Hudson, 2006)
Max Ernst: Dream and Revolution (Hatje Cantz, 2009)