About this artwork
This large and impressive sheet is an example of frottage, a method of laying paper on top of a textured surface and rubbing over it with pencil, which Max Ernst introduced to avant-garde artmaking in 1925. The border of Fruits, with its softly rendered rubbings from wood grain, show the classic signs of frottage, while the central still life, turned on its axis and appearing to float in space, has a compositional clarity that is difficult to achieve with this method.
Ernst used frottage to expand the possibilities of art by surrendering some control when creating a design. In the process of subverting classic principles of drawing, however, he ironically created a work of exceptional graphic sensibility, balance, and skill.
- Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Max Ernst
- Germany (Artist's nationality)
- Black colored pencil or crayon frottage on cream wove paper
- Signed, lower right: “Max Ernst”
- 65 × 49.8 cm (25 5/8 × 19 5/8 in.)
- Gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray