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Artwork by Max Ernst

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About the Artist

(1891-1976)Of German birth, Max Ernst became one of the leading modernist painters in Europe in the early and mid 20th century and was one of the leading figures of the Dada and Surrealist movements in Paris and New York. Many of his paintings reflect the terror that he experienced during World War II as well as the style of Surrealism that he adopted from French influences.

In Berlin, he exhibited in 1913, and by 1919 had founded the Dada group in Cologne, Germany with Hans Arp. He lived in France from 1920 to 1940, and was drawn there to exhibit with the Surrealists led by Andre Breton. Ernst was in the first Surrealist exhibit in Paris, which was in 1925.

In 1939, he was held in a French prison camp on the false accusation that he was spying. He escaped, only to discover that his lover Leonora Carrington had had an emotional breakdown and had sold his house for a bottle of brandy, leaving him homeless. Shortly after, in 1940, he successfully sought refuge in the United States and lived in New York City where Marcel Duchamp and Andre Breton had also migrated. They and Ernst founded the Surrealist magazine.

He married artist Dorothea Tanning, and during 1943, the couple visited Sedona, where they stayed for three years. By the early 1950s, he and Tanning were in France, and in 1958, he became a French citizen.