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Max Ernst

Europe after the rain II

1940-42

Use our tools differently

This work by the German painter Max Ernst was begun in occupied France in 1940, and completed in the United States in 1942, after the artist's exile. Its title, Europe after the rain II , leaves no doubt as to its interpretation: it is a dismal vision of a territory in ruins, devastated by war. Note that Ernst had already used this title for a work from 1933, after Hitler came to power in Germany.

Ernst, a member of the Dada movement and then of the surrealist group, cultivated like his comrades a taste for the irrational which he had made a source of inspiration.

But one of his most significant contributions to painting lies in his constant search for new

ways to affix  color on a surface. In Europe after the rain II , for example, he proceeded by decalcomania , that is to say by pressing  a paper on its canvas coated with paint, then in it  removing to create a texture that is impossible to achieve with a brush. He also practiced the technique of  frottage - pass  a charcoal on a sheet laid out on a wooden surface  relief like a parquet board - or even that of the  scraping - scraping off superimposed layers of paint with a razor blade. By using in such a way  unorthodox of utensils yet familiar to artists, Ernst invented techniques which, although experimental, enabled him to create totally original works.

What we can take away:

Creativity requires  obviously, in the first place, an intellectual effort  - of the order of the imagination. But it can also go through work on the technique used. Finding new ways to use our equipment, different from its traditional use, allows  often generate results  interesting.

Related theme: Creativity
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