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Max Ernst

Ci-fut une hirondelle

plaster relief, painted
ca. 22 x 23 cm / c. 8 5/8 x 9 in.
signed and numbered 12/7 lower left one of 12 individually painted reliefs

"Ci-fut une hirondelle" was the very first serial work Max Ernst created. It was announced in March 1928 in the journal "La Révolution surréaliste". His material experiments with plaster led Max Ernst to this edition object. Max Ernst painted the twelve plaster casts of "Ci-fut une hirondelle" individually by hand, so that they were turned into unique works. He partially contoured the vaults created by the casting of concave forms, colored them with individual wings and inserted heads and eyes with circles. By colored addition, he interpreted the egg-shaped increase among the swallows as another wing. At this point, Max Ernst again plays with illusion and reality: the curved wing makes the convex oval shape appear curved inwards. The motif of the egg is emblematic both for the creation of a world and for the visual process itself. The symbolic motif of the bird, which played an important role in the work of Max Ernst from the beginning, stands for the metamorphoses of reality with which the Surrealists sought to advance to a higher consciousness.

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