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 Max Ernst   (1891-1976)

  Le Sourd et L'aveugle (The Deaf and the Blind)
  • ink on paper, 1923
  • signed with the initials lower right recto
  • paper size 4¼" x 8" (10.8 x 20.3 cm.)
  • Exhibited:
      Albori del Surrealismo nei Disegni di Max Ernst, Feb 1-28, 1964, Galleria Ciranna, Milan, no.8, p.6
      Surrealism and its Affinities 2004, 2004, Gallery of Surrealism, New York, no.9
      The Sleep of Reason II, 2019, Sotheby's, New York, no.20
  • Literature:
      Philippe Soupalt & Andre Breton, Litterature, Nouvelle Serie No. 11/12, Oct 15, 1923, Paris, p.31
      Max Ernst, Ecritures, 1970, Editions Gallimard, France, p.96
      Spies & Metken, Max Ernst Oeuvre-Katalog Vol. 2 Werke 1906-1925, 1923, Menil Foundation, Houston and Cologne, DuMont Schauberg, p.280, no.540
Th[e] remarkable collage paintings of late 1922-23 constituted only one aspect of Ernst's work that year...he also produced a quantity of drawings as well as murals for the house purchased by Paul and Gala in suburban Eaubonne.  None of the drawings can be identified as preparatory sketches or studies for known paintings.  In some instances he may have been seeking to clarify his concept for a painting which may never have materialized...Two publications emerged...that summer, a double issue of Litterature that came out in October and Claire de terre, published in mid-November...The double issue of Litterature was wholly devoted to poetry by members of the Litterature group, embellished by one of Picabia's drawings on the cover, the Erutarettil list of authors, and forty-five small drawings by Ernst inserted at the end of almost every poem.  Picabia had also submitted a body of drawings for this issue of Litterature, and Breton's decision to use Ernst's drawings instead may have been the act which irrevocably rekindled all of Picabia's suspicions.
Insofar as is known, the drawings were created independently of the poems and subsequently acquired their present titles from the poems preceding them on the page - without Ernst's participation in the layout of poems and drawings.  Accordingly, any perceived relationships between poems, drawings, and titles are fortuitous, or products of our efforts, or the results of Breton's decisions about the composition of the issue.
     -William A. Camfield, Max Ernst: Dada and the Dawn of Surrealism, 1993, The Menil Collection, Prestel, Germany
Max Ernst - Le Sourd et L'aveugle (The Deaf and the Blind) - 1923 ink on paper enlarge in new window

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