From 1919 to 1920, Ernst created a series of works by printing, stamping, tracing, or taking rubbings from metal plates or type. These printing tools were borrowed from a commercial press. Ernst arranged the plates, frequently turning and reusing the same block and adding connecting lines with pen and ink to produce images of anthropomorphic machines. Rather than evoking dependable technological power, the pseudo-machine depicted in this work seems precarious at best. The inscription "Adieu mon beau pays de Marie Laurencin" (Farewell My Beautiful Land of Marie Laurencin) alludes to Marie Laurencin, a French artist who assisted Ernst in his failed attempt to exhibit his artwork in Paris. "Help!" scribbled in both French and German add a note of urgency.
from Dada, June 18–September 11, 2006
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