After a long absence Italy celebrates the genius of Max Ernst (1891-1976), the German - later naturalised American and French - painter, sculptor, engraver, poet and art theorist, through a monographic exhibition and numerous collateral events.
The exhibition will be held in the main galleries of Palazzo Reale, in Milan, from 6 October 2022 to 26 February 2023.
The project will showcase about 180 pieces, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, illustrated books, jewellery from museums, foundations and private collections in Italy and Europe.
The immense breadth of themes and experiments in Ernst's work spans over seventy years of the Twentieth century, between Europe and the United States, constantly eluding any tangible definition. Pictor doctus, profound connoisseur and visionary interpreter of the history of art, philosophy and science, Max Ernst is presented through this project as a humanist in a neo-Renaissance sense of the word. Here, the artist's creative instinct intertwines with the disciplines of knowledge, where “love for the signs of times past” is accompanied by an autonomous elaboration of the contemporary world.
If André Chastel claimed to find in Ernst a sort of “reincarnation of those Rhenish-devilry-makers such as Bosch”, Marcel Duchamp traces his work back to “a complete inventory of the different eras of Surrealism”.
Ernst’s universe challenges observers to try their hand at fascinating and intriguing games of perception between amazement and wonder, where logic and formal harmony are accompanied by impenetrable enigmas, where bellezza and bizzarria, art and nature coexist magically, as in the mannerist and baroque tradition. It is the polarities between past /present, nature /artifice and their constant, dialectical tension, that allow to present Max Ernst for the first time in a retrospective in Italy.
On the occasion of the exhibition: "Max Ernst: Bellezza e Bizzarria" Helene Bailly Gallery will lend a work by Max Ernst "Project for a monument to Leonardo da Vinci" (1957) at the Palazzo Reale in Milan.