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"Max Ernst: Sculptures"
1999-09-23 until 2000-01-16
Fundação Arpad Szenes - Vieira da Silva
When I reach an impasse with my painting - which happens again and again -
sculpture is left to me as a way out, for sculpture is more of a game than
painting. In sculpture, as in love-making, both hands play a part.
Therefore it is like taking holidays so as to return to painting later
Max Ernst is remembered above all as a painter. It was through painting
that he expressed his great innovative contribution to artistic language.
But the truth is that his interest in plastic expression runs throughout
his whole work.
As of the end of the 20s, Max Ernsts interest in sculpture as an
autonomous discipline became more evident and his plastic production became
increasingly independent of his pictorial production, developing its own
stylistic direction: in sculpture, the artist gave greater emphasis to the
rhythmic and spatial values of strong constructive harmonies, which are
underlined by the choice of materials used: stone and, above all, bronze.
His imagination breathes life into images of a totemic nature. It is as if
his works represent symbols of a personal sacredness and always carry a
mysterious tension within themselves.
In the materials he uses, Max Ernst cuts out gigantic or small pieces,
which he distinguishes with a clearness of form to define synthesised,
almost primitive, images endowed with an unexpected monumentality.
The 63 sculptures on display belong to the Capricorn Trust, New York (set
up by Dorothea Tanning) and private collections. The exhibition is part of
the Friends of Arpad and Vieira series: in 1931 Arpad and Max Ernst met for
the first time when they were studying under Hayter at Atelier 17, in Paris.
Habakuk, 1934, Sedona, 1948, Le génie de la Bastille, 1960 and Un microbe
vu a travers un temperament, 1964, are some of the more outstanding works
in this exhibition.