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Human Figure with Two Birds

A work made of oil on emery paper, mounted on scrap-wood panel covered with industrial-grade black paper.
© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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  • A work made of oil on emery paper, mounted on scrap-wood panel covered with industrial-grade black paper.

Date:

1925/29

Artist:

Max Ernst
French, born Germany, 1891–1976

About this artwork

Like Constantin Brâncusi, Max Ernst was fascinated with birds, and among his earliest works incorporating this motif are some two dozen small, unconventional pictures made around 1925. One of these works was incorporated as a picture within a picture in Human Figure with Two Birds, a painting that set the stage for an extraordinary series of works that Ernst began in 1930, which featured a large, fantastic bird figure that the artist identified as Loplop. In these works, Loplop, the artist’s “private phantom attached to my person,” generally holds up a picture for presentation. Here the rudimentary figure outlined in white is an early manifestation of Loplop, Ernst’s playful, surreal concept of self-portraiture by proxy.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Modern Art

Artist

Max Ernst

Title

Human Figure with Two Birds

Place

United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

1925–1929

Medium

Oil on emery paper, mounted on scrap-wood panel covered with industrial-grade black paper

Dimensions

116.4 × 39.4 cm (45 7/8 × 15 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior gift of the Albert Kunstadter Family Foundation

Reference Number

1989.386

Copyright

© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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