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Max Ernst (2 April 1891-1 April 1976); German painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet. A primary pioneer of the Dada movement and Surrealism.
"Painting is not for me either decorative amusement, or the plastic invention of felt reality; it must be every time: invention, discovery, revelation." (Max Ernst)
"Max Ernst was a provocateur, a shocking and innovative artist who mined his unconscious for dreamlike imagery that mocked social conventions. A soldier in World War I, Ernst emerged deeply traumatized and highly critical of western culture. These charged sentiments directly fed into his vision of the modern world as irrational, an idea that became the basis of his artwork. Ernst's artistic vision, along with his humor and verve come through strongly in his Dada and Surrealists works; Ernst was a pioneer of both movements. Spending the majority of his life in France, during WWII Ernst was categorized as an "enemy alien"; the US government affixed the same label when Ernst arrived as a refugee. In later life... Ernst devoted much of his time to playing and studying chess which he revered as an art form. His work with the unconscious, his social commentary, and broad experimentation in both subject and technique remain influential.
He attacked the conventions and traditions of art, all the while possessing a thorough knowledge of European art history. He questioned the sanctity of art by creating non-representational works without clear narratives, by making sport of religious icons, and by formulating new means of creating artworks to express the modern condition.
Profoundly interested in the art of the mentally ill as a means to access primal emotion and unfettered creativity.
Other than an introduction to amateur painting at home, Ernst never received any formal training in art: tthus he was responsible for his own artistic techniques...
One of the first artists to apply Sigmund Freud's dream..."
(More at http://www.theartstory.org/artist-ernst-max.htm)