Ernst composed this work from three photomechanical reproductions. The ground is an upended image of an aerial chemical bomb attack that Ernst cut from a book on German military aviation. To it he glued two carefully cut out pictures: a bisected beetle and the cross section of a fish. The menacing pairing of the biological and the technological is an overarching theme in Ernst’s Cologne Dada work. The title of this photomontage was coined by Ernst’s Dada comrade Jean (Hans) Arp.
Gallery label from Max Ernst: Beyond Painting, September 23, 2017-January 1, 2018.