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Diary

Patrick Hughes: What do artists do?

24 July 1986
... quite a few in translation. Imagine my shock when I read in the 20 March issue of the London Review, in Edmund Leach’s review of Lévi-Strauss’s latest, The View from Afar, that ‘the essay on MaxErnst contains an analysis of that artist’s celebrated construction of a sewing-machine and an umbrella on a dissection table.’ It does not. I have been to the British Library and looked at The ...

At Tate Liverpool

Alice Spawls: Leonora Carrington

22 April 2015
... at Chelsea School of Art, then at Amédée Ozenfant’s academy in Kensington. In 1936 the First International Surrealist Exhibition opened at New Burlington Galleries and the following year she met MaxErnst at a party organised by a fellow Ozenfant student, Ursula Goldfinger, and her architect husband, Erno. Ernst ‘opened up all sorts of worlds’ and Carrington soon went to live with him in ...

Naming of Dogs

Edmund Leach

20 March 1986
The View from Afar 
by Claude Lévi-Strauss, translated by Joachim Neugroschel and Phoebe Hoss.
Blackwell, 311 pp., £19.50, June 1985, 0 631 13966 4
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... the 43-year-old German artist Anita Albus about whom Lévi-Strauss writes enthusiastically in Chapter 20. The text refers directly to both pictures. The present English edition has a cover picture by MaxErnst, who is the subject of similar laudatory comment in Chapter 19. But this particular picture is not discussed and it seems to lack nearly all the qualities for which Lévi-Strauss expresses ...

Marseille, 1940-43

Neal Ascherson

18 July 2013
... Alma Mahler, Lion Feuchtwanger, Konrad Heiden (Hitler’s first truthful biographer), Marc Chagall, Jacques Lipchitz, Moïse Kisling, the young Claude Lévi-Strauss … A band of surrealists led by MaxErnst (Tristan Tzara, Wifredo Lam, André Breton among them) hid in the spooky Villa Air-Bel in the city’s outskirts. Marseille was in the non-occupied zone of France. But Article 19 of the ...
6 January 1994
Investigating Sex: Surrealist Research 1928-1932 
edited by José Pierre, translated by Malcolm Imrie.
Verso, 215 pp., £17.95, November 1992, 0 86091 378 3
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... included (with the number of their appearances in parenthesis) Breton (12), always in the chair, Aragon (2), Artaud (1), Eluard (5), Péret (5), Prévert (6), Queneau (4) and Pierre Unik (10); and MaxErnst (1), Man Ray (1) and Yves Tanguy (7). The eldest, Ernst and Man Ray, were nearing 40, the youngest, Unik, was 19, but generally they were in their late twenties or early thirties. And almost ...

At the Gagosian

Peter Campbell: ‘Crash’

11 March 2010
... that all my fiction consists of paintings. I think I always was a frustrated painter.’ He not only envied visual artists, he believed in their power. ‘I didn’t see exhibitions of Francis Bacon, MaxErnst, Magritte and Dalí as displays of painting,’ he wrote in 2003. ‘I saw them as among the most radical statements of the human imagination ever made, on a par with radical discoveries in ...

At the Sainsbury Centre

Anne Wagner: Elisabeth Frink

21 February 2019
... formidable Erica Brausen, the gallery’s founder and director, who made the introduction, not least because Brausen was also Giacometti’s main London dealer and worked with both Marcel Duchamp and MaxErnst. Brausen asked the young David Sylvester to write something for the catalogue. His response remains acute: Richier, he declared, asks ‘not only how much damage the human body can endure and ...

Anglicana

Peter Campbell

31 August 1989
A Particular Place 
by Mary Hocking.
Chatto, 216 pp., £12.95, June 1989, 0 7011 3454 2
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The House of Fear, Notes from Down Below 
by Leonora Carrington.
Virago, 216 pp., £10.99, July 1989, 1 85381 048 7
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Painted Lives 
by Max​ Egremont.
Hamish Hamilton, 205 pp., £11.95, May 1989, 0 241 12706 8
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The Ultimate Good Luck 
by Richard Ford.
Collins Harvill, 201 pp., £11.95, July 1989, 0 00 271853 7
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... Edward Lear and Harry Graham: a reading-list which suggests a mix of the commonsensical and the fantastical which consorts easily with the insect-headed humans and other macabre juxtapositions of MaxErnst’s collage illustrations – much of what is here was written while Carrington and Ernst were living together in France in 1938. There is a dandified spareness about her prose – and a Harry ...

Turnip into Asparagus

Wolfgang Schivelbusch

5 June 1997
Speak Low (When You Speak Love): The Letters of Kurt Weill and Lotte Lenya 
edited and translated by Lys Symonette and Kim Kowalke.
Hamish Hamilton, 555 pp., £30, July 1996, 0 241 13264 9
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... from the emergency sale of Weill’s German house would have been one of the reasons. Her many affairs after her remarriage with Weill mostly involved less well-known partners. The one exception was MaxErnst, whose letters to her were the only ones other than Weill’s she preserved. (Far fewer of hers than of his have survived and made it into this volume, and they were obviously salvaged by Lenya ...

Diary

David Gascoyne: Notebook, New Year 1991

25 January 1996
... determined to teach Saddam Hussein ‘a terrible lesson’. Alan Jenkins of TLS rang up at 7.15 p.m. to suggest I write article on two exhibitions in London next month: Man Ray photos at Barbican, MaxErnst at Tate. Thursday 10: Ron Stocker to lunch. Listened to ‘Schönberg in Hollywood’ on Radio 3. Wrote to thank Jean-Claude, and send him copy of Jean Follain collection in the Poésie series ...

Picassomania

Mary Ann Caws: Roland Penrose’s notebooks

19 October 2006
Visiting Picasso: The Notebooks and Letters of Roland Penrose 
by Elizabeth Cowling.
Thames and Hudson, 408 pp., £25, May 2006, 0 500 51293 0
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... from 1923, set up a studio with Yanko Varda, and became close friends with Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Virginia and Leonard Woolf, all of whom spent time in Cassis during those years. Through MaxErnst, a friend of Boué’s, he met the Surrealist poets and painters, and with Herbert Read and David Gascoyne, introduced Surrealism to England. He helped persuade Picasso (it didn’t take much) to ...

At Tate Liverpool

Marina Warner: Surrealism in Egypt

8 March 2018
... without borders. ‘We refuse to see in these reactionary myths anything other than concentration camps for thought,’ they declared. The signatories were springing to the defence of artists like MaxErnst who had been labelled degenerate by the Nazis, but they were also taking on enemies closer to home and resisting the rise of fascist sympathisers in Egypt. The Futurist Marinetti, who was born ...

At the Palazzo Venier

Nicholas Penny: Peggy Guggenheim’s Eye

9 May 2002
Peggy Guggenheim: The Life of an Art Addict 
by Anton Gill.
HarperCollins, 506 pp., £25, October 2001, 0 00 257078 5
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... Works by many of the artists on the list were acquired in Paris just before the outbreak of the Second World War; purchases resumed in 1941, in New York, with André Breton, Howard Putzel and MaxErnst also advising. The catalogue of Guggenheim’s collection, Art of This Century, published in that year, amounted to an ‘anthology of modern art’ – that is, a sourcebook of approved models ...

Insouciance

Anne Hollander: Wild Lee Miller

20 July 2006
Lee Miller 
by Carolyn Burke.
Bloomsbury, 426 pp., £12.99, March 2006, 0 7475 8793 0
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... grovelling below. An urban view from above shows hectic crowds skirting an omnibus in a street crisscrossed by hectic strings of little flags. In the summer of 1937 she escaped back to Paris, where MaxErnst introduced her to Roland Penrose, a wealthy English artist and collector who worshipped Picasso and frequented the free-loving Surrealists, whose work he had helped launch in England. He had ...

Jottings, Scraps and Doodles

Adam Shatz: Lévi-Strauss

3 November 2011
Claude Levi-Strauss: The Poet in the Laboratory 
by Patrick Wilcken.
Bloomsbury, 375 pp., £30, November 2011, 978 0 7475 8362 2
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... to get to the other side of the looking glass.’ He befriended the anthropologist Franz Boas (who would die in his arms at a lunch held in his honour in 1942) and in his spare time joined Breton and MaxErnst on expeditions to the antique shops on Third Avenue, where cheap tribal artefacts were easy to come by. He learned another valuable lesson from these shops, with their displays of ‘previously ...

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