A Week of Max Ernst: Tuesday

europe-after-the-rain-ii(1)[1]
Europe After the Rain II-Max Ernst 1940-1942
‘On the first of August M.E died. He was resurrected on the eleventh of November 1918’ was how Max Ernst referred to his time in the army during the WW1. Hitler’s rise in Germany  and the start of WW2, which led to several detentions and internments  (see my post Le Jeu Du Marseille-A Surrealist Pack of Cards) must have seemed to Ernst like he had died for a second time.

Out of the traumatic experiences of internment, flight and exile Ernst produced arguably the masterpiece of pictorial automatism Europe After The  Rain II. Using the technique pioneered by Oscar Dominguez (see Chance Encounters 1), decalcomania, Ernst created a haunting post apocalyptic landscape with sinister petrified (yet seemingly alive, or on verge of becoming so) mineral formations. A helmeted bird headed figure menaces a woman in a baroque version of  Edwardian dress lost in this inimical, alien world. A chilling vision of the future if we persist in our never-ending folly.

 

 

Advertisements

57 thoughts on “A Week of Max Ernst: Tuesday

    1. Sorry I am shite at links…I think you have probably read this one…its about the surrealist cards in marseilles…Ernst was in a double bind…he was detained as a German national by the french at the start of the war and then by the Gestapo as a degenerate artist when they occupied france…perhaps I should have mentioned he had major love life complications with his second wife, leonora carrington and peggy guggenheim(soon to be third wife, briefly)

      Like

      1. On no, not at all, sure she went mad and was put in a mental asylum in Madrid but she ended up in Mexico City and painted and wrote and had children and became somewhat of a national treasure in mexico (even though frida kahlo called her and remedios varos those european bitches) and died not so long ago in 2011 at the age of 94

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Guggenheim was heartbroken by Ernst i think…even though she WAS peggy guggenheim she seemed to always feel that she was punching above her weight with Max who seemed to have an a very strong sway over women

        Like

      3. yes but ernst’s hold over strong independent women who really should have known better is almost without precedent…i mean peggy guggenheim didnt take shit from anyone yet she was prepared to be mistress no.2 to ernst for quite a while, not even mistress no.1

        Liked by 1 person

  1. His paintings remind me in a way of my dreams. The people and things in my dreams do not look as much like coral reefs or spongy caterpillars as the things in his paintings but in terms of the weirdness and fluidity and things that look pretty but perhaps are sinister. One of my scariest dreams was being forced on an escalator and then an electric car through Hollywood until we came to a pool (like at a fancy pool club) and people with machetes were wacking the people in the pool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. His paintings are dreamlike…and dreams are eerie at the best of times and downright terrifying on occasion…he would be my favourite surrealist artist…both dali and magritte found a winnng formula and just bottled it…whereas ernst is diverse and yet unified

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes. He is more original. Dali does become repetitive. In any case I do not personally find his style aesthetically pleasing. Magritte I liked a lot when I first discovered him, age 17, but it is formulaic and his talent was in his ideas, not in his painting ability or aesthetics.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That why’s you dont see much of either dali or magritte on this blog though I cant avoid mentioning them…plus in the popular imagination they are surrealism and I am trying to show that there was more to surrealism than them…I will probably post something about magritte because I do like some of his work…i think dali had talent but it was squandered on making dali a brand name

        Liked by 1 person

  2. How do you know the bird man is menacing her? She could just be inviting him round to her coral house for tea. 😉 He’s quite fetching in that outfit- except for the whole head of a bird thing… I was reading the comments here. I wonder why he had such sway over women. Interesting. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmmm maybe but I think not… the world in Europe after the rain is petrified and one should never forget the hostility of the mineral world towards the organic world… he had a striking presence and I suppose he just had that certain something something that made women adore him.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I won’t be able to keep up with the other more knowledgable art commenters here, but the first thought I had was I wonder if he found relief after painting something like this, was it cathartic and therapeutic…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like this bizarre landscape. Like stalagmite formations outside of a cave. All the minerals seeping up out of the earth. Europe after the ‘rain’ of terror, bomb blasted and cratered. Think the bird has anything to do with the German eagle? And I think women just dig artists in general.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well Ernst was a ladies man among ladies men. Ernst called himself Loplop, Superior of the Birds so I am not sure if we can read in any political significance as birds had their own symbolism in his personal mythology.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are two men on his knee so I wasn’t sure. He’s the lighter haired guy on the left corner? And btw, I was expecting a photo. Lol. He’s too tiny to tell whether he’s striking or not. I’m sticking with good listener.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s