The works were acquired largely in the1950s and 1960s by a prominent Italian collector and close friend of the artist. Characterized by its personal, domestic and intimate character, this body of works elucidates Ernst’s belief that the artist should be a diver in subterranean depths, probing the mysteries of the unconscious and the imagination.
Unseen in public for two decades, the works on display come from key periods of Max Ernst’s career and have appeared in the some of the most important exhibitions of the artist’s work, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Art Institute Chicago exhibitions, 1961; Palazzo Grassi, Venice, 1966; and Haus der Kunst Munich, 1979. The works’ exceptional provenance, linked to the major galleries and dealers of Ernst, Alexander Iolas and Arturo Schwarz, further underlines the scope and breadth of the collection.
This show includes works that encompass the full range of different techniques investigated by the artist, including oil on canvas and panel, frottage, collage, grattage, drawing and gesso. With this show, M&L Fine Art aims to not only represent the life and work of the artist, but also to transmit the intimate vision of the collector who assembled this significant group of works reflecting every aspect of the artist’s career.
This exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an original essay by Dr Jürgen Pech, one of the leading authorities on Ernst and the editor of the artist’s catalogue raisonné. Max Ernst is continues to be shown in institutional exhibitions worldwide, including a 2018 survey at MoMA titled Max Ernst: Beyond Painting. His work is currently on show at the State Hermitage Museum in an exhibition entitled Max Ernst. The Paris Years, until August 18, 2019.