331
331

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE NEW YORK COLLECTOR

Max Ernst
L'ENTRÉE DES FANTOMES
JUMP TO LOT
331

PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE NEW YORK COLLECTOR

Max Ernst
L'ENTRÉE DES FANTOMES
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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Max Ernst
1891 - 1976
L'ENTRÉE DES FANTOMES
Inscribed Max Ernst, numbered 4/8, inscribed with the foundry mark Susse Frères Paris and stamped with the Susse seal
Bronze
Height: 85 3/4 in.
217.8 cm
Conceived between 1938 and 1939, this bronze version was first cast in 1990 from the 1938-39 cement from the house at St-Martin d'Ardèche, France. The work was cast in an edition of 12.
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The late Dorothea Tanning has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Provenance

Estate of the artist
Acquired from the above circa 1991

Literature

Werner Spies, Sigrid & Günter Metken, Max Ernst, Oeuvre-Katalog, Werke 1939-1953, Cologne, 1976, no. 2310, illustration of another version p. 4
Günter Metken, Max Ernsts Haus in Saint-Martin d'Ardèche, 1974, p. 90

Catalogue Note

In 1938, Max Ernst left the Surrealist Group in Paris and moved, with author and artist Leonora Carrington, to Saint-Martin d'Ardèche, near Pont Saint-Esprit, about fifty kilometers north of Avignon. The two bought a house there and Ernst set to work decorating his new home with a series of murals and bas-reliefs executed in cement (see fig. 1). Ernst spent over a year restoring and decorating his bucolic new retreat, and his anthropomorphic creations at Saint-Martin d'Ardèche reveal a profoundly imaginative vocabulary of recurring images and figures. Though the evidence of his involvement in both the Dada and Surrealist movements are resonant in these works, there is a wholly personal evolution that leads to their genesis.

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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