Max Ernst. Mr. Aa the Anti-Philosopher (Monsieur Aa l’antiphilosophe): Volume I from The Anti-Head (L’Antitête). 1947–49, published 1949

Max Ernst Mr. Aa the Anti-Philosopher (Monsieur Aa l’antiphilosophe): Volume I from The Anti-Head (L’Antitête) 1947–49, published 1949

  • Not on view

The Anti-Head is a three-volume anthology of poems by Tristan Tzara, the Romanian poet whom Ernst had first befriended through the Dada movement. Ernst’s etchings for the book’s first volume signal a shift in his approach to printmaking after World War II, when he began using sinuous lines to generate biomorphic faces, figures, and bird- and fish-like forms. Tzara had created the titular “Mr. Aa the Anti-Philosopher” early in his career as a mocking, self-referential embodiment of Dada’s antiestablishment ideals.

Gallery label from Max Ernst: Beyond Painting, September 23, 2017-January 1, 2018.
Tristan Tzara
Volume I from an illustrated book with 23 etchings
page (each approx.): 5 1/2 × 4 5/16" (14 × 11 cm)
Bordas, Paris
Lacourière, Paris
The Louis E. Stern Collection
Object number
© 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Illustrated book
L’Antitête (The Anti-Head)
Drawings and Prints

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