Max Ernst tapestry – 410

Max Ernst tapestry – 410

“La ville entière” – n° 1/1
Hand-woven tapestries
Period: 1975
Dimensions: cm. 438 x 284
Signed Max Ernst
Atelier Yvette Cauquil-Prince (France)

SKU: 410 Categories: ,

Description

Max Ernst tapestry
(Brühl, April 2, 1891 – Paris, April 1, 1976)

“La ville entière” – n° 1/1
Hand-woven tapestries
Period: 1975
Dimensions: cm. 438 x 284
Signed Max Ernst
Atelier Yvette Cauquil-Prince (France)

Max Ernst was born in Brühl, near Cologne. In 1909, he enrolled on philosophy and psychology courses at the University of Bonn, where he developed a keen interest in the artwork of mentally ill patients, whom he visited in a psychiatric hospital. Before long, he abandoned his studies in favour of art. In 1911, he joined August Macke’s “Die Rheinischen Expressionisten” group of artists, and exhibited some of his paintings for the first time at the Galerie Feldman in Cologne. Here, he met Hans Arp, with whom he forged a life-long friendship.
In August of the following year, he went to Paris for the first time. He saw action in the First World War. Despite the rigours of military service, Ernst managed to carry on painting, and exhibited some of his work at the “Der Sturm” gallery, which persuaded him to publish an article entitled On the evolution of colour. On his return to Cologne in 1918, he married Luise Strauss. Inspired by the work of Giorgio de Chirico, he decided to produce a portfolio of lithographs (Fiat Modes Pereat Art). In the same year, he founded the Dada group W/3 West Stupidia with Johannes Theodor Baargeld. The two artists published the magazines Der Ventilator and Bulletin D, and organised the first Dada exhibition in Cologne.
On his second trip to Paris in 1920, he earned the acclaim of the city’s art critics by exhibiting some of his creations at the Galerie Au Sans Pareil. Held in 1921, this was his first exhibition. When he later met several exponents of surrealism, including André Breton and Paul Éluard, this proved to be an important milestone for Ernst. His collaboration with Éluard gave rise to two volumes, Les malheurs des immortels and Répétitions (1922). Perhaps under the influence of a thought-provoking trip to the East, he developed a new painting technique, known as frottage, which he used to produce a series of images published in Histoire naturelle (1926). In 1929, he published the first of his collage-novels, La Femme 100 Têtes, and the following year he worked with Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel on the film L’âge d’or. In 1930, he produced Reve d’une petite fille qui voulut entrer au Carmel, followed, in 1934, by Une semaine de bonté (“A week of kindness”). The plates of these collage-novels were created using images from scientific works, medical encyclopaedias, catalogues and illustrated stories. The assembly of the collages was deliberately disguised, to give the work an appearance of unity, which is especially noticeable in the typographic version. Friction with Breton prompted Ernst to leave the Surrealist group in 1938 and move to the vicinity of Avignon, with the painter Leonora Carrington.
In 1941, Ernst moved to the United States, where he stayed until 1953, making regular contributions to the surrealist magazine VVV. He worked tirelessly throughout this period, in Arizona, experimenting with new forms of expression, such as dripping, and creating major sculptures, such as The King Playing with the Queen (1944). He got married twice in the United States, first to Peggy Guggenheim, in 1941, and later to Dorothea Tanning. After returning to Europe, he won first prize at the Venice Biennale in 1954.
Max Ernst died in Paris on 1 April 1976.

The original work that Max Ernst chose as the cartoon for his tapestry is still kept at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, one of Italy’s most important museums of 20th-century European and American art.
“La ville entière” belongs to a series of 12 works painted by Max Ernst between 1933 and 1937, which explore the same subject, namely a surrealist landscape that may represent the artist’s growing pessimism in the face of the political situation in Germany at the time.

Yvette Cauquil-Prince (1928-2005) was a craftswoman and master weaver of Belgian origin. She set up her Atelier in Paris in the late 1950s and later moved to Corsica. The best-known and most productive of her various collaborations with leading artists of the 20th century was with Marc Chagall, with whom she made 40 tapestries.

Bibliography:
Max Ernst Woven by Yvette Cauquil Prince, Milwaukee Art Center, 1978, N° 6
Pierre Baudouin, 80 Tapisseries de Peintres, Paris, Musée-Galerie de la Seita, 1985
Chagall, de la palette au métier, Musée d’Art Moderne de Troyes, 2014, p. 202

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