1891, Brühl (Rhineland) – 1976, Paris
The German-French painter and printmaker took up painting while studying psychology and art history in Bonn, and initially experimented with Expressionist, Cubist and Futurist styles. In 1912 he first exhibited with the Rhineland Expressionists, and in 1913 he was represented at the First German Autumn Salon in Berlin. In 1916, while on leave from the front during the war, he got to know the Berlin Dadaists; this encounter led him to found a Dada group in Cologne three years later, together with Jean Arp. In 1922 he moved to Paris, where he joined the Surrealists. In tune with the “écriture automatique” they were propagating, Ernst developed collages, invented the graphic techniques of ‘frottage’ and ‘grattage’ and made sculptures based on found objects. His visionary cosmogonies can be regarded as continuing the traditions of Grünewald and Bosch.