new-york

Max Ernst

Byron Gallery

How misserved Max Ernst is in his many exhibitions, in both private gallery and public institution, unless, of course, the failure of each exhibition must be laid to the artist’s own meddling and Victorian taste. Ernst is constantly shown as a minor Academician, pretentiously overframed, laden with gold leaf, corner scrolls, passe-partouts of all colors and illuminated in fakely dramatic shafts of light. The present installation is particularly gruesome in this respect. The impression conveyed by all this crowding is that Ernst is somehow not party to the accusations against bourgeois art which Surrealism so earnestly made. Instead Ernst is presented precisely within the context of bourgeois taste, a taste his art thoroughly strove to discredit, but which, when placed in this context, tears down his art. Of all things that Surrealism cannot stand, success is perhaps its most insidious

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.