Max Ernst his core ideas and place that inspired him the most
Max Ernst’s Commentary to the world that shaped and reshaped itself between the two wars and an interesting exploration of his life/house in Sedona desert, Arizona
The center of gravity in the physical sense for Max Ernst on this planet was nothing less but the desert of Sedona, in Arizona. He found it when on his way traveling in a car with his partner Dorothea Tanning. His impression was that his entire life he painted this place and then Sedona found him, as a response he had to build a house, in full solitude, with famous sculptures watching over the inhabitants, they are called Capricorn.
“The role of the painter… is to project that which sees itself in him.” by Max Ernst
Max Ernst posed a question to the world that started exploring itself through the emerging of psychology and scientific discoveries, always questioning the why behind everything. This lead him to the interests of the mentally ill of the society. He believed that this is not only a problem of an individual but also of the collective and was seriously critical of the way society becomes irrational every so often.
WWI had such an effect on Max Ernst, who served on both fronts, that he wrote “On the first of August 1914 Max Ernst died. He was resurrected on the eleventh of November 1918.” 100 years after his resurrection we are observing and analyzing similar formations of society that makes us go deeper behind the conscious self, tapping into the primordial.
He was resonating with Freud’s psychology, and was among the first artists of the 20th century who tried to capture the pre-verbal state of human condition, facing the traumas and deep seated belief system using it as a foundation for his art.
It seems universal among artists to always recognize their creations of art as something living independently of them, but at the same time representing their core. The sphere of primordial energy that lives in each of us before we start to form the concepts, verbalize, even think.
Max Ernst lived in the domain of Dada (criticism of society) and Surrealism (free flying of the psyche, abstractions among the figurative elements), but also through his inventive mind he was a great influence on the Abstract Expressionism, which is diving deep into the subconscious realms, creating the automatic painting and expression of the primal.
He had a thorough knowledge of the history of art and that made him question the status quo, the society and the state of the world. Today our greatest status quo is the economy that harnesses the world through algorithms, makes it self sufficient and creates the invisible shell of safety and comfort.
Artists are always questioning the status quo, or any type of stasis in the society, because such a society starts living in a pond of static water, eventually rotting and giving way to other living contestants.
Max Ernst stated that he would never venture into any study that would eventually degenerate into the bread winning activity. Instead he preferred the world or painting, philosophy and poetry uncompromised from the outside world, and it’s definition of “monetary success”. Isn’t it fascinating that he reached so far in thought, so early in the 20th century and the 21st century is yet to observe this shift in consciousness hopefully with the help of UBI and general trend to go minimalist.
It baffles me to hear of art as beautiful for some and not so beautiful to others, when it is never a question of beauty but significance, meaning and a life of it’s own. In Ernst’s own words:
“Art has nothing to do with taste. Art is not there to be tasted.” by Max Ernst