Lot 12: Max Ernst
Fucina degli Angeli
Signed and inscribed with edition "2/3 Max Ernst FA 1964" verso
8.625" x 6.25"
Provenance: The Estate of Rebecca Reis, Los Angeles, California;
Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the above)
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Dadaist and Surrealist Max Ernst (1891-1976) lived a life befitting an artistic itinerant of the Belle Époque, traversing cities including Cologne, Monaco, Saigon, Paris, and Beverly Hills. His marriage to Peggy Guggenheim from 1942-1946 brought him to New York, and it was this partnership that encouraged his later experiments in glass, as seen in Volto (1964).
Guggenheim had always displayed an interest in the other-worldly qualities of glass, and she helped to organize the 1965 exhibition "Sculpture in Glass" at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The exhibition, which included works from Pablo Picasso, Guggenheim's then ex-husband Ernst, and Ernst's longtime friend, Jean Arp, was intended to draw attention to the island of Murano, Italy and its centuries-old tradition of glassblowing. The title, Volto, is the Italian term for "face," and refers to the subtle visage that appears in the central medallion. This early glasswork anticipates the later glass masterpieces that Ernst would execute. In glass, as in all other media that he worked with, Ernst's ingenuity and matchless creativity is evident, earning him accolades in his lifetime such as the Grand Prize for painting at the 1954 Venice Biennale and a major retrospective in 1975 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
MoMA Archives, "Sculpture in Glass," MoMA Press Release (October 26, 1965).
"Max Ernst." Tate Collections Online. Tate Museum. Web. 30 July 2014.