Nightmare and Liberation. The exhibition focuses on the artist's graphic sheets and cycles, which were often sketches for his illustrated artists' books and have rarely been on display in museum exhibitions in such a comprehensive way. The works on display span the entire oeuvre of the famous Dadaist and Surrealist, who was one of the most influential and visionary artists of the 20th century. His bewildering and disturbing surrealist pictorial worlds have influenced generations of artists. Curated by Toni Stooss, Esther Ruelfs.
curated by Toni Stooss, Esther Ruelfs
The artist Max Ernst was a bookish man; he read every single day. The exhibition focuses on the artist’s graphic sheets and cycles, which were often sketches for his illustrated artists’ books and have rarely been on display in museum exhibitions in such a comprehensive way. The works on display span the entire oeuvre of the famous Dadaist and Surrealist, who was one of the most influential and visionary artists of the 20th century. His bewildering and disturbing surrealist pictorial worlds have influenced generations of artists. The exhibits include early Dadaist works from his time in Cologne, works created after his emigration to the USA in 1941 and works created in France between 1953 and 1976 after his return to Europe.
The 450 works presented in the exhibition include 20 graphic cycles, precious individual sheets and illustrated books, complemented by 26 outstanding paintings and 13 sculptures by Max Ernst from the Würth Collection and other collections.
The exhibition focuses on books and collage novels. The oeuvre of Max Ernst is characterized by a multitude of different styles, techniques and subjects that are hard to capture comprehensively. The "collage” however, is a technical and intellectual process that spans the artist’s entire oeuvre. In his partially invented biographical notes, Max Ernst describes how he devised his technique of combinatorics on a rainy day on the Rhine in 1919. A seemingly meaningless sequence of contradictory pictures printed in a catalogue for teaching aids evoked hallucinatory images in his mind. Since then Max Ernst has used this mind-expanding process of combining unrelated and incompatible objects in his collages, irritating our visual expectations. In his collage novels „La femme 100 têtes“ (The Hundred Headless Woman), 1929, „Rêve d’une petite fille qui voulut entrer au Carmel“ (A Little Girl Dreams of Taking the Veil) and „Une semaine de bonté" (A Week of Kindness), 1934, Ernst deliberately presents himself as anti-modernist by using illustrations from 19th century natural science journals, trivial novels and sales catalogues, which have the patina of the past, to make his comic-strip collages.
Suspense is created by the pretended plot and its composed imaginary creatures. The phantastic pictorial world of Max Ernst addresses traumatic primal fears of lust and violence, pain and desire.
The exhibition presents all works by Max Ernst owned by the Würth Collection, which was founded by art collector and entrepreneur Reinhold Würth and is reported to include one of the largest private collections of works by Max Ernst. Werner Spies, a renowned export on Max Ernst, has gathered the selection of works for the Würth Collection. The presentation at the MdM Salzburg has been complemented by additional outstanding paintings and sculptures on loan from other museums, foundations and private collections.
Project management Würth Collection: C. Sylvia Weber, Beate Elsen-Schwedler
Curators MdM Salzburg: Toni Stooss, Esther Ruelfs
The exhibition is accompanied by the publication Nightmare and Liberation. Max Ernst in the Würth Collection, published by Swiridoff, including a preface by Toni Stooss and a fundamental essay by Werner Spies; editors Werner Spies and C. Sylvia Weber, 376 pages with over 200 colour illustrations. Available at the museum shop at the price of €42,- (book store price: €58,-).
Image: Max Ernst, Frontispiz, Leonora Carrington, La Dame ovale, 1939, Würth Collection © VBK Wien 2010
Presse / Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Christine Forstner T +43.662 84 22 20-601 F +43.662 84 22 20-701 firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening Sat, 12 June 2010, 11 a.m.
Museum der Moderne Salzburg
Moenchsberg 32 - Salzburg
tuesday to sunday: 10.00 a.m.- 06.00 p.m.
wednesday: 10.00 a.m. - 08.00 p.m.
Adults € 8,-
Seniors € 6,-
Children 6 years of age and older, pupils/apprentices, students € 6,-
Groups of more than 10 persons € 7,-
Familyticket: min. 1 parent and 1 child (up to 15 years of age) € 12,-