A Week of Kindness (Une Semaine de bonté), is the most elaborate of Ernst’s inventive “collage novels.” Its 182 images were created by cutting up and reorganizing illustrations from nineteenth-century novels, scientific journals, and other sources. By printing these collages photomechanically, Ernst transformed them into the seamless images he desired. The surreal constructions, alternately dark and humorous in their subversion of bourgeois gentility, are rife with suggestions of repressed sexuality, violence, anti-militarism, and anticlericalism. Though originally planned as seven volumes, one for each day of the week, the last three “days” were combined into the fifth and final volume. Ernst released them consecutively, like popular serial stories.
Gallery label from Max Ernst: Beyond Painting, September 23, 2017-January 1, 2018.