Leafing through my book on Max Ernst (as already plundered for these previous entries), I was struck by a group of illustrations featuring paintings Ernst made in the years 1957-9, when he was in his late 60s. If these are at all representative, then there must have been a good deal of blue on his palette during this time…
Ernst, and his wife Dorothea Tanning, began the year 1957 in Sedona, Arizona, where they had previously lived, ca. 1946-53. From there, the couple returned to their new home in Paris, spending some time in New York en route. They spent most of the rest of their lives in France, and Ernst became a French citizen in 1958. This was a time when Ernst’s reputation was in the ascendant: there were exhibitions devoted to his work in New York, a prize was awarded him in Germany, books were published about him in France. Even so, it seems he still saw himself as more a marginal figure than any kind of ‘grand old man’.
My wanderings, my anxieties, my impatiences, my doubts, my beliefs, my hallucinations, my loves, my rages, my revolts, my contradictions, my refusals to submit to any discipline, even my own, the sporadic visits of Perturbation, My Sister, The Hundred-Headless Woman, none of these have succeeded in creating a climate favourable to the working out of a calm, serene body of work. Like my behaviour, my work is not harmonious in the sense of the classical composers, or even of the classical revolutionaries. Seditious, uneven, contradictory, it is unacceptable for specialists in art, in culture, in behaviour, in morals. It has the power, on the other hand, to enchant my accomplices, the poets, the pataphysicians, some illiterates - Max Ernst, 1959.
Click on the images to see them in much closer detail: note that the full jpegs are quite large (500 Kb +). Note also that the originals of the second, fourth and sixth of these images were all slightly larger than A4, so these were not captured in full. My source, as before, is the 1977 volume on Ernst edited by Edward Quinn.Posted by misteraitch at October 14, 2004 07:07 PM | TrackBack