Max Ernst. To the Rendezvous of Friends (The Friends Become Flowers, Snakes, and Frogs) (Au rendez-vous des amis [Les amis se transforment en fleurs, en serpents, et en grenouilles]). 1928

Max Ernst To the Rendezvous of Friends (The Friends Become Flowers, Snakes, and Frogs) (Au rendez-vous des amis [Les amis se transforment en fleurs, en serpents, et en grenouilles]) 1928

  • Not on view

Ernst likely painted this work in anticipation of his major one-person exhibition at the Galerie Bernheim, Paris, in December 1928. Ambitious in size, it is a technical tour de force: Ernst built up paint in stages, then used grattage, or scraping with hard-edged tools like spatulas and palette knives, to expose the underlayers and to create surface textures where exceptionally fluid paint is pushed to the tool’s edge. The painting’s elaborate title bespeaks Ernst’s ongoing interest in metamorphosis and what he later described as the “voluntary, if irrational, confounding of the images of human beings” with the multifaceted variety of nature.

Gallery label from Max Ernst: Beyond Painting, September 23, 2017-January 1, 2018.
Oil on canvas
51 1/8 x 63 3/4" (129.8 x 161.9 cm)
Gift of Samuel A. Berger and the artist (by exchange)
Object number
© 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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Provenance Research Project

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Fernand C. Graindorge, Liège
E. J. Power, London
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchased from Galerie Beyeler, Basel, 1973

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