Max Ernst Show on Maui - 27 East

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Max Ernst Show on Maui

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An installation view of Maui Arts & Cultural Center's exhibition “Max Ernst: Surreal Mindscapes & Characters.” Work in the show is from the collection of the artist's grandson, Eric Ernst, a longtime East End resident. ERIC ERNST PHOTO

An installation view of Maui Arts & Cultural Center's exhibition “Max Ernst: Surreal Mindscapes & Characters.” Work in the show is from the collection of the artist's grandson, Eric Ernst, a longtime East End resident. ERIC ERNST PHOTO

An installation view of Maui Arts & Cultural Center's exhibition “Max Ernst: Surreal Mindscapes & Characters” featuring work from the collection of Eric Ernst, the artist's grandson and a longtime East End resident. ERIC ERNST PHOTO

An installation view of Maui Arts & Cultural Center's exhibition “Max Ernst: Surreal Mindscapes & Characters” featuring work from the collection of Eric Ernst, the artist's grandson and a longtime East End resident. ERIC ERNST PHOTO

An installation view of Maui Arts & Cultural Center's exhibition “Max Ernst: Surreal Mindscapes & Characters” featuring work from the collection of Eric Ernst, the artist's grandson and a longtime East End resident. ERIC ERNST PHOTO

An installation view of Maui Arts & Cultural Center's exhibition “Max Ernst: Surreal Mindscapes & Characters” featuring work from the collection of Eric Ernst, the artist's grandson and a longtime East End resident. ERIC ERNST PHOTO

An installation view of Maui Arts & Cultural Center's exhibition “Max Ernst: Surreal Mindscapes & Characters” featuring work from the collection of Eric Ernst, the artist's grandson and a longtime East End resident. ERIC ERNST PHOTO

An installation view of Maui Arts & Cultural Center's exhibition “Max Ernst: Surreal Mindscapes & Characters” featuring work from the collection of Eric Ernst, the artist's grandson and a longtime East End resident. ERIC ERNST PHOTO

An installation view of Maui Arts & Cultural Center's exhibition “Max Ernst: Surreal Mindscapes & Characters” featuring work from the collection of Eric Ernst, the artist's grandson and a longtime East End resident. ERIC ERNST PHOTO

An installation view of Maui Arts & Cultural Center's exhibition “Max Ernst: Surreal Mindscapes & Characters” featuring work from the collection of Eric Ernst, the artist's grandson and a longtime East End resident. ERIC ERNST PHOTO

An installation view of Maui Arts & Cultural Center's exhibition “Max Ernst: Surreal Mindscapes & Characters” featuring work from the collection of Eric Ernst, the artist's grandson and a longtime East End resident. ERIC ERNST PHOTO

An installation view of Maui Arts & Cultural Center's exhibition “Max Ernst: Surreal Mindscapes & Characters” featuring work from the collection of Eric Ernst, the artist's grandson and a longtime East End resident. ERIC ERNST PHOTO

authorStaff Writer on Apr 15, 2024

Thanks to the impetus of artist and longtime East End resident Eric Ernst, who is now living in Hawaii, Maui Arts & Cultural Center is currently presenting “Max Ernst: Surreal Mindscapes & Characters.” The exhibition showcases the work of Ernst’s grandfather — one of the most significant artists to contribute to the movements of Dada and Surrealism in the development of modern art in the past century.

The exhibition opened April 9, and remains on view through June 1. The works on display come from the collection of Eric Ernst, whose personal recollections of his grandfather Max Ernst and relationship with the various pieces in the collection offer a unique vantage point for understanding the artist’s life beyond what is documented in textbooks and the writings of modern art history.

“It is clear that to understand Max Ernst one needs to recognize his perpetual quest for whatever means or images that would stir the viewer’s mind as well as the eye,” Eric Ernst said. “He strove to unlock the unconscious and allow those illogical impulses and reveries that float within to become conscious narratives that rival reality itself.”

Gallery Director Jonathan Clark, who curated the exhibition, noted, “It is an exciting prospect to bring an artist of such international and art historical profile to our exhibition space on Maui, and to be able to showcase a selection of works, many of them substantial in scale, that have rarely been exhibited before. While Max Ernst was active during a very different time in modern art history — some of the earliest works in the exhibit were created almost a century ago — the fantastical and experimental quality of his approach is timeless, transporting the viewer into an imagined reality.”

German-born artist Max Ernst (1891-1976) was a key figure whose work had a profound influence on the trajectory of modern art from the early to late 20th century. Out of the devastating experiences of World War I, Ernst harnessed his sharp disillusionment with the European establishment and joined the forefront of the Dada art movement, engaging with other contemporaries who saw themselves as revolutionaries in their rejection of aesthetics and embrace of the illogical.

With a prolific output that spanned chapters spent in Germany, France, and the U.S., Ernst continued to push innovative approaches that bridged into Surrealism, favoring the fantastical over the rational, and tapping into the innate potential of dreams to reveal the workings of the subconscious.

This exhibition highlights his role in these historical art movements, including several rarely exhibited works that bring to light the characters and environments of the artist’s wide-spanning breadth of expression. The selection of works includes Ernst’s early series of 34 collotype textured rubbings titled “Histoire Naturelle,” large and small-scale bronze sculptures of abstracted characters, original sculpted concrete cinder blocks from his home in Sedona, Arizona, and a series of monumental tapestries by Yvette Cauquil-Prince, who worked closely with Ernst to translate his paintings into woven textiles.

This exhibition is presented by Maui Arts & Cultural Center. For more information, visit mauiarts.org.

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