Max Ernst Collages: The Invention of the Surrealist Universe

Max Ernst Collages: The Invention of the Surrealist Universe

by Werner Spies, John William Gabriel

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Max Ernst's imagination, on the evidence of this exhaustive study, was more varied, more splendid, more daring and more prescient than even his admirers may realize. His surrealist collages, at once playful and menacing, humorous and disturbing, portray a universe where birds gobble fish, mannequins come to life and Eros denied may spring from the barrel of a gun. Ransacking picture postcards, newspapers, catalogues, botanical drawings, calligraphy models, engravings and scientific journals, Ernst brought hermetic images into fruitful association, rattling the gates to the unconscious mind. In his essay, a monumental feat of detective work, German art historian Spies uncovers source materials, discusses Ernst's collage techniques, reviews his collage-novels and tracks Dada antics from Cologne to Paris. Yet he does not explain the enigmatic power these images continue to exert. The superb illustrations include 50 embellished ``alphabet initials'' which Ernst, who died in 1976, made especially for the first German edition of this definitive work, now in its first American edition. (Apr.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Spies, a prolific and erudite student of Ernst (1891-1976), offers the most thorough and wide-ranging view of the artist's use of collage, a medium of which he is arguably the greatest 20th-century practitioner. This English edition makes only minor additions to Spies's original 1974 German book and its later editions. The translation is faithful to the density and complexity of the original text, if at times literal at the expense of readability. This is an important book on this major dada and surrealist figure, intended for specialists; the copious plates would appeal to a wider audience, but the book is still not recommended for general collections.--Jack Perry Brown, Ryerson & Burnham Libs., Art Inst. of Chicago

Product Details

Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
10.63(w) x 12.60(h) x (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >