Ernst was fascinated with microscopic images, which were first broadly distributed in the early twentieth century. Here, he created an overpainting on the ambitious scale of traditional oil painting by using a commercially available teaching chart. Ernst inverted the found poster, which contains magnified views of brewer’s yeast cells, and selectively painted in a black ground. He then painted gears and bands, as well as humanizing details including eyes, noses, limbs, and whiskers, to create a virtual circus of tightrope walkers, clowns, and cyclists. The inscription lends amusing sexual connotations to the hairs, orifices, and protrusions of these microorganisms.
from Max Ernst: Beyond Painting, September 23, 2017-January 1, 2018