6
6
Max Ernst
LE GÉNIE DE LA BASTILLE
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 645,800 USD
JUMP TO LOT
6
Max Ernst
LE GÉNIE DE LA BASTILLE
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 645,800 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Property from the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection

|
New York

Max Ernst
1891 - 1976
LE GÉNIE DE LA BASTILLE
numbered E.A. 2/3 and inscribed with the foundry mark Susse Fondeur Paris
bronze
height 123 1/4 in.
313.1 cm
Conceived in 1960, and cast in 1975
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Private Collection, Zürich
Thomas Amman Fine Art, Zürich
Acquired by the present owner in 1985

Exhibited

Venice, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, on loan from 1997-2003
Durham, North Carolina, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, The Evolution of the Nasher Collection, October 2005 - May 2006

Literature

Werner Spies, Max Ernst, Oeuvre-Katalog, Werke 1954-1963, Köln, 1998, no. 3818, I, illustration of another cast, p. 404

Catalogue Note

After having fled Europe for America at the outbreak of World War II, Ernst returned to France in 1953 with his fourth wife, Dorothea Tanning (see figure 1). Upon his return, Ernst was welcomed with international acclaim as a master of Modern art. By the time he conceived of the current work in 1960, the couple had moved to the South of France so that Ernst could pursue his artistic concerns in relative privacy. The artist's late works, sculptural and otherwise, reveal a profoundly imaginative vocabulary of recurring images and figures. Though the echoes of his involvement in both the Dada and Surrealist movements are resonant in these late works, there is a wholly personal evolution that leads to their genesis.

Le Génie de la Bastille incorporates the artist's personal lexicon of imagery with a notable emphasis on the influences of primitive and tribal art. The composition recalls the structure of a tribal totem pole and the figure reveals a simplification of form similar to early Cycladic sculpture. Examples of such artifacts were omnipresent at World Fairs and in private collections throughout Europe (see figure 2), and Ernst was undoubtedly exposed to this imagery. The influences from these works reverberate through the oeuvres of master Modern sculptors such as Brancusi, Picasso and Giacometti. Ernst's appropriation of this trend provided an individual and fresh interpretation. Much of his later work in sculpture incorporates these influences and Le Génie de La Bastille is an outstanding example of his ability to combine this intellectual nod to artistic precedent with a playful and imaginative sensibility.

Property from the Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection

|
New York