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Max Ernst: A Retrospective (Metropolitan Museum of Art Publications) [Hardcover]

Werner Spies

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Book Description

8 April 2005 Metropolitan Museum of Art Publications
Max Ernst (1891-1976) was a pivotal figure in the history of twentieth-century art. A leader of the Dada movement in Germany, he later joined the circle of writers and artists gathered in Paris around Andre Breton, the unofficial founder of the Surrealist movement. At the outset of World War II, Ernst fled Germany for the United States, first going to New York and eventually settling in Sedona, Arizona. Ernst returned to Europe in 1950 and continued to explore Surrealist imagery and methods throughout his life. This important book accompanies the first retrospective exhibition of Ernst's work held in the United States in thirty years. It examines his pioneering accomplishments in painting, collage, and sculpture and considers his use of the techniques of frottage, grattage, and decalcomania. Also featured are Ernst's unique collage novels - narratives comprising disparate images culled from nineteenth-century engravings and combined in surreal, unsettling compositions. Leading scholars write on various aspects of Ernst's life and art: Werner Spies on the Ernst in America; Ludger Derenthal on Ernst and politics; Pepe Karmel on Ernst and contemporary art; Thomas Gaehtgens on Ernst and the old masters; and Robert Storr on the collage novels. This book accompanies an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to run between April 4-July 10, 2005.

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About the Author

Werner Spies is an Ernst scholar and art critic.

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This retrospective exhibition of Max Ernst's work, the first held in the United States in thirty years, provides a glimpse of the artist's tremendous productivity. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Magnificent Exhibit, but a mediocre Book 19 May 2005
By M. Healey - Published on
The exhibit of Ernst's work, which is still running at the Metropolitan Museum is a stunning tribute to an artist whose styles have influenced so many others over the course of the twentieth century. His style shifted and evolved so much over time that it is hard to believe the same artist that painted "Saint Cecilia" also painted "The Kiss" and "The Robing of the Bride." Unfortunately, the poor quality of the prints in the museum's book makes it a big disappointment, especially at this price. The text is alright, but the colors in the prints are radically darker and different in tone and do no justice to the original works.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor print quality 8 Jun 2005
By Michael F - Published on
Having just seen the exhibit today (June 6 2005), and having perused copies of the book available at the exhibit, I concur that the color reproduction negates the highly informative text of this book.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ditto on the quality of the reproductions 14 Jun 2005
By Ludwig - Published on
I just saw the retrospective a couple of weeks ago as well and agree with the other reviewers: the exhibition is great, but the quality of the plates in the catalog is miserable.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discovering Max Ernst 17 Aug 2008
By Artsy - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Max Ernst was always one of those painters who resided on the periphery of my consciousness, who I never bothered to fully investigate. Probably because I put him, mistakenly, in the same category as Magritte, a painter who I know was important in the annals of art history but didn't reach me on a visceral level. As I am interested in art and artists in general I had the "Max Ernst" DVD on my Netflix list and one Sunday afternoon, having nothing better to do, I decided to watch it. I immediately fell in love with his paintings and was fascinated by his life. I searched Amazon and this book seemed to contain the best representation of his work. I was a little disconcerted with some of the reviews regarding the quality of the images. But as another reviewer stated, images in a book will never match the original art. As I have not, unfortunately, seen too many any of his paintings up close and personal this is not a problem for me. I find the quality to be quite adequate. Since acquiring the book it has become bedtime reading for me and I am thoroughly enjoying it. The first half of the book is an overview of his life and work, the second half is the catalog of the exhibit.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good retrospective, and good image quality. 7 Jan 2007
By D. Hincher - Published on
This book is the most comprehensive collection of Max Ernst work. Having read the other reviews, I was concerned the print quality would be less than stellar. I find the print quality and color reproduction to be fine. No art book ever captures the full impact of the actual art, and color correction is one of the more problematic aspects of printing. MOMA and the Yale University did a good job with this book. This is a good collection of work and I wouldn't hesitate buying it again.
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