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Untitled, 1919

Max Ernst
German, 1891 - 1976
lithograph on gold-tinted wove paper, with japan paper borders
43.6 x 31.9 cm
Purchased 1975
National Gallery of Canada (no. 18237.8)

Max Ernst dedicated this set of lithographs to Giorgio de Chirico, whom he credited with awakening his aesthetic sensibility. In 1919, Ernst got to know Jean Arp, and the two introduced the Dada movement to Cologne, Ernst's hometown. Paraphrasing the mannequin characters of de Chirico, the lithographs also have an affinity with the schematic constructions of Francis Picabia, who represented Dada in Paris and New York. The spirit of Dada reigns in this work: the title ("Long live fashion, down with art"), the sexual allusions in the third plate, and the wordplay are clearly intended to deride the values of a society whose narrow-mindedness the Dadaists rejected.

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