Max Ernst. The Sea (Marine). 1928

Max Ernst The Sea (Marine) 1928

  • Not on view

Ernst applied thick plaster to the burlap support of The Sea, creating an exceptionally textured, uneven surface. He sprayed thinned pigment over the dried plaster with an atomizer, producing a quasi-photographic effect that evokes rocky terrain, which he left visible only in the upper half of the circle in the center. He covered the rest of the plaster with black paint, into which he incised an outline for the circle and a series of parallel intersecting lines. As a result, a glowing moon emerges from a darkened sea, with the vibrant bands of color suggesting illuminated waves. The subject reflects the artist’s abiding interest in nature and cosmology.

Gallery label from Max Ernst: Beyond Painting, September 23, 2017-January 1, 2018.
Oil on plaster on burlap
22 x 18 1/2" (55.9 x 47 cm)
Object number
© 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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Galerie Bonaparte, Paris
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchased from Galerie Bonaparte, Paris, 1936

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