The Albertina will devote an exhibition – his first retrospective in Austria – to Max Ernst, the great pictorial inventor. Presenting a selection of 150 paintings, collages, and sculptures, as well as relevant examples of illustrated books and documents, the exhibition will assemble works related to all of the artist’s periods, discoveries, and techniques, thereby introducing his life and oeuvre within both a biographic and historical context.
Max Ernst was a restless personality who always strove for freedom. Torn between the realisation of his personal aims in life and the social and political obstacles during a turbulent period, he nevertheless always looked ahead: a “flight into the future”. He moved from Cologne to Paris in 1922, where he joined the circle of the Surrealists; he was detained as a hostile alien twice, attempted to get away, and was released thanks to lucky “coincidences”. In 1941, he escaped into American exile.
The exhibition positions Max Ernst’s oeuvre between references to the past, contemporary political events, and a prophetic and visionary perspective of the future.