Birth of a master of anti-capitalist, surreal works

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One of two versions of L'Ange du Foyer or The Angel of Hearth and Home (1937) oil on canvas | via wikimedia

April 3, On This Day

Max Ernst (2 April 1891 – 1 April 1976)

Developed in reaction to World War I, the Dada movement consisted of artists who rejected the logic, reason, and aestheticism of modern capitalist society, instead expressing nonsense, irrationality, and anti-bourgeois protest in their works. German painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and poet Max Ernst was a primary pioneer of Dadaism, and surrealism.

One of two versions of L’Ange du Foyer or The Angel of Hearth and Home (1937) oil on canvas | via wikimedia
Ubu Imperator, 1923, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris | via wikimedia

Born on April 2, 1891 the prolific artist had no formal artistic training, but his experimental attitude led him to invent both frottage and grattage — while the former technique uses pencil rubbings of objects as a source of images, the latter involves paint scraped across canvas to reveal imprints of objects placed beneath.

The Elephant Celebes (or short Celebes), 1921 | via wikimedia
The Eye of Silence (French: L’oeil du silence), 1943–44 | via wikimedia