Ernst, Max (mäks ĕrnst) [key] 1891–1976, German painter. After World War I, Ernst joined the Dada movement in Paris and then became a founder of surrealism. Apart from the medium of collage, for which he is well known, Ernst developed other devices to express his fantastic vision. In frottage he rubbed black chalk on paper held against various materials such as leaves, wood, and fabrics to achieve bizarre effects. He was also the author of several volumes of collage novels. A note of whimsy often characterizes his dreamlike landscapes while other works reveal an allegorical imagination. Two Children Are Threatened by a Nightingale and several other works are in the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.
See his Beyond Painting (1948); studies by J. Russell (1967) and U. M. Schneede (1973); R. Rainwater, Max Ernst, Beyond Surrealism: An Exhibition of the Artist's Books and Prints (1986); W. A. Camfield, ed., Max Ernst: Dada and the Dawn of Surrealism (1993); W. Spies, ed., Max Ernst: A Retrospective (2005).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.