Max Ernst, ‘Roi, Reine et Fou’, Grob Gallery

This sculpture of a king, queen and bishop by Max Ernst impresses the audience in its tangible aura and manifests the unique approaches of the artist. The physicality of this work interestingly pictures these chest pieces as creatures that look partly humans especially in their upper body, yet their heads are strikingly inhuman and at times project an almost extra-terrestrial appearance.
While the king and the queen look like an alien couple with their eyes on both sides of their long heads, the bishop, the “fou” -which translates as “the crazy one”- seems to be composing of a scream, as an outburst of its upper body that turns around itself like a spiral. The fact that the bishop, the crazy one, is situated between the otherworldly looking king and the queen creates an attractive harmony in their standing so that they seem to compose a team, each ready to be assuming some kind of fighting stances.

Series: Ed. 4/35

Signature: Signed and numbered on the base on the lower right Foundry stamp on the edge of the base "A VALSUANI FONDEUR"

About Max Ernst

Closely associated with Dada and Surrealism, Max Ernst made paintings, sculptures, and prints depicting fantastic, nightmarish images that often made reference to anxieties originating in childhood. Ernst demonstrated a profound interest in Freudian psychoanalysis, which is apparent in his exploration of Automatism and his invention of the Frottage technique. The artist’s psychoanalytic leanings are evident in his iconic 1923 work Pietà, or Revolution by Night, in which Ernst substitutes the image of Mary cradling the body of Christ with a depiction of the artist himself held by his father. Much of the artist’s work defied societal norms, Christian morality, and the aesthetic standards of Western academic art.

French-American, b. Germany, 1891-1976, Brühl, nr Cologne, Germany