Sotheby’s is delighted to announce the opening of a loan exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Max Ernst. These works have rarely been seen in public and together they give a wonderful insight into the art of Max Ernst from the 1920s.
Deeply involved in first the Dada and then Surrealist movements, Ernst revealed a subconscious that was influenced by both the natural and the fantastic. Recalling the feeling of entering a forest for the first time, Ernst recognised the ambivalence he had felt: ‘The wonderful delight in breathing free in the open air, but the trepidation of being imprisoned on all sides by hostile trees at the same time. Simultaneously outdoors and indoors, free and captive’. The works included in this exhibition, featuring forests, cages, birds and beasts, all evoke those magical sensations, and reveal Ernst’s mastery. During the 1920s Ernst invented a number of artistic techniques, such as frottage and grattage, which would become some of the defining developments of his career.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue including a specially commissioned essay written by Georges Sebbag.