Max Ernst


Max Ernst was born on 2 April 1891 in Brühl, Germany.

1910 - 1914

While studying classical philology, philosophy, psychology and art history at the University of Bonn, Max Ernst became friends with the Bonn expressionist August Macke. With him he met Robert Delaunay and Guillaume Apollinaire. He abandons his studies to concentrate on art.


Max Ernst meets August Macke, who becomes a close friend of Max Ernst. In the same year Ernst joins the group of the Rheinische Expressionisten in Bonn.


Ernst meets Guillaume Apollinaire and Robert Delaunay, travel to Paris,
Ernst participates in the Erster deutscher Herbstsalon.


He meets Jean Arp, who become his lifelong friend.
In the same year Max Ernst volunteers for military service. Despite his service he is still active as an artist.

1914 – 1918

Military service in the 1st World War.


Max Ernst has his first solo exhibition in the gallery „Der Sturm“. During a vacation at the front he meets George Grosz and Wieland Herzfelde. In 1918 he returns to Cologne.


Shortly before the end of the war, Max Ernst marries Luise Straus in Cologne, who holds a doctorate in art history and whom he met during his studies in Bonn.


He creates his first collages and, together with Johannes Theodor Baargeld, he founds the short-lived Cologne Dada movement, which is joined by Arp and others.


Ernst exhibits for the first time in Paris at the Galerie au Sans Pareil. Together with Paul Eluard and André Breton, he participates in surrealist activities in the early 1920s.


The poetry collections "Répétitions" and "Les malheurs des immortels" were published in collaboration with Paul Eluard. Max Ernst Collagen contributes collages to these.
Max Ernst moves to Paris and lives with the Eluards.


He invents a new graphic rubbing technique for pencil drawings, the „frottage“, and one year later the „grattage“ and „décalcomanie“, adequate for
painting. These techniques determine his typical style.


Divorce of Max Ernst and Luise Straus.


Marriage to Marie-Berthe Aurenche.


First exhibition in America at the Julien Levy Gallery, New York. In the following year he is ostracized by the National Socialists.


Ernst also begins to work on sculptures.


Ernst is represented in Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


Max Ernst moves with the English painter and writer Leonora Carrington to Saint-Martin d'Ardèche (Southern France), where they design a farmhouse with sculptures. When war broke out, Max Ernst was interned several times in French camps.


Ernst flees to the USA with Peggy Guggenheim, whom he married in early 1942.


Divorce Max Ernst and Peggy Guggenheim.


Max Ernst spends the summer with the gallery owner Julien Levy and the artist Dorothea Tanning, whom he marries two years later in a double wedding with Man Ray and Juliet Browner, in Great River on Long Island. He works on a larger number of sculptures.


Ernst receives American citizenship.


Max Ernst returns to France for good together with Dorothea Tanning and moves into a studio in Paris.


Ernst is honored with the Grand Prix for Painting at the Venice Biennale, which starts his international success. This was followed by major retrospectives and numerous honours.


Max Ernst dies in Paris on April 1, the night of his 85th birthday.

Galerie Henze & Ketterer
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Galerie Henze & Ketterer & Triebold
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Tel. +41 (0)61 641 77 77
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