painter, sculptor and writer
Max Ernst may be counted as one of the most influential artists of the dada and surrealist movements. He studies philosophy in Bonn from 1909 to 1912. In 1920, he founds the dada group Zentrale W/3 in Cologne. In 1921, André Breton puts Ernst’s work on show in Paris, and he moves to that city a year later. As member of the surrealist group, over the following years he develops the frottage (rubbing) and the grattage (scraping), techniques close to 'écriture automatique'. With the onset of the Second World War, Ernst flees to the United States, where he paints a series of canvases using dripping, a radically new 'automatic' technique that deeply marks a young generation of American painters. In 1961, Max Ernst acquires Magritte’s work Force of habit (1960) that depicts a green apple with the superscription 'This is not an apple'. A year later, upon the apple Ernst paints a bird in its cage, with below the phrase: 'This is not a Magritte'. According to Dorothea Tanning, Ernst’s wife, Magritte 'forced a laugh' when seeing the addition to his painting.