Originally fashioned in cement on the exterior of the Saint-Martin d'Ardèche home, L'Entrée des fantomes 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 and Native American art. Examples of such artifacts were omnipresent at World Fairs and in private collections throughout Europe, and Ernst was exposed to this imagery through his own personal collecting (see fig. 2). 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 L'Entrée des fantomes is an outstanding example of his ability to combine this intellectual nod to artistic precedent with a playful and imaginative sensibility.
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