A soldier in WWI, Max Ernst emerged from the war traumatized and deeply critical of Western society. He saw the modern world as essentially irrational and it is this position that forms the central philosophical pillar of his artwork. He became known as a provocateur whose work is characterized by shocking and dreamlike images that mock modern social conventions and ideals. Aside from his prolific production of works in sculpture, paintings and paper, Ernst was a devoted student of chess and considered it an art form. His work remains influential and associated with some avant-garde movements such as surrealism and Dadaism.
Text © Cigdem Mirol