Max Ernst Natural History (Histoire naturelle) c. 1925, published 1926

  • Not on view

Ernst created these images by placing paper atop various materials—wood floorboards, lengths of twine, leaves, wire mesh, crumpled paper, crusts of bread—and rubbing the surface with a pencil or crayon. Inspired by the resulting textures, he added details to transform them into fantastical landscapes, objects, and creatures. Ernst called his process frottage (French for “rubbing”) and claimed it as a form of Surrealist automatism, whereby an artist attempts to let the unconscious guide his hand in the creation of an image.

Gallery label from 2017.
Author
introduction by Jean (Hans) Arp
Medium
Portfolio of 34 collotypes after frottage
Dimensions
composition (orientation varies, each approx.): 10 1/4 × 16 3/4" (26 × 42.5 cm) or 16 3/4 × 10 1/4" (42.5 × 26 cm); sheet (orientation varies, each approx.): 19 5/8 × 12 11/16" (49.8 × 32.3 cm) or 12 11/16 × 19 5/8" (32.3 × 49.8 cm)
Publisher
Galerie Jeanne Bucher, Paris
Printer
Unknown
Edition
300
Credit
Gift of James Thrall Soby
Object number
29.1958.1-34
Copyright
© 2021 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Type
Portfolio
Department
Drawings and Prints
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