According to Ernst, the title of this painting is a quotation from Réne Descartes, a seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist known for his rationalistic approach to metaphysics. The world pictured here, however, seems rife with irrational, inexplicable, and cataclysmic incident. Strange beings and beasties produced by Ernst’s manipulation of paint, at times with a screenprinting squeegee, populate an eerie, pulsating landscape filled with self-perpetuating energy. Ernst developed the technique of using squeegees to create quasiautomatic compositions in the early 1950s, when he was in exile in the United States.
Gallery label from Max Ernst: Beyond Painting, September 23, 2017-January 1, 2018.