Max Ernst was born on this day in 1891
Word of the Day – Monday, April 2nd
Ernst: German-born artist and a co-founder of Dadaism
Painting is not for me either decorative amusement, or the plastic invention of felt reality; it must be every time: invention, discovery, revelation – Max Ernst
Max Ernst (April 2, 1891 – April 1, 1976) was a German painter.
Max Ernst was born in Brühl, Germany. In 1909, he enrolled in the University at Bonn to study philosophy but soon abandoned these courses to pursue his interest in art. In 1913 he met Guillaume Apollinaire and Robert Delaunay and traveled to the Montparnasse Quarter in Paris where a gathering of artists from around the globe was taking place.
In 1918, he married the art historian Luise Straus, a stormy relationship that would not last. The next year he visited Paul Klee and created his first paintings, block prints and collages, and experimented with mixed media. During World War I he served in the German army and after the war, filled with new ideas, Max Ernst, Jean Arp and social activist Alfred Grünwald, formed the Cologne, Germany Dada group but two years later in 1922, he returned to the artistic community at Montparnasse in Paris.
Constantly experimenting, in 1925 he invented frottage, a technique using pencil rubbings of objects. The next year he collaborated with Joan Miró on designs for Sergei Diaghilev. With Miró's help, Max Ernst pioneered grattage in which he troweled pigment from his canvases. Max Ernst helped to found the Dada movement, drawing a great deal of controversy with his 1926 painting The Virgin Spanking the Christ Child before Three Witnesses: Andre Breton, Paul Eluard, and the Painter. In Montparnasse, he was important in the birth of Surrealism where an artist used images in a way that made no logical sense, instead making the whims of their psyche the source of their subject matter. After a period with the Surrealists, Ernst left their group due in part to Andre Breton's desire to ostracize Ernst's friend, the poet Paul Eluard. In 1934 he began to work in sculpture, spending time with Alberto Giacometti. In 1938, the American heiress Peggy Guggenheim acquired a number of Max Ernst's works which she displayed in her new museum in London.
Throughout this period, Ernst developed a fascination with birds that was prevalent in his work. His alter ego in paintings, that he called Loplop, was a fictional bird that he suggested was an extension of himself stemming from an early confusion of birds and humans. Ernst claimed his sister was born soon after his bird died, but this could have been a story he invented to promote the "art" of his art. Loplop often appeared in collages of other artists work, such as collages like Loplop presents Andre Breton and they usually had a bird foot-like object superimposed on another artists piece. Birds continued to appear in Ernst's work, in such instances like the Angel of Hearth and Home and Robing of the Bride, two of his post World War II paintings.
Following the outbreak of World War II, Max Ernst was detained as an enemy alien but with the assistance of the American journalist Varian Fry in Marseille, he managed to escape the country with Peggy Guggenheim. They arrived in the United States in 1941 and were married the following year. Living in New York City, along with Marcel Duchamp and Marc Chagall, fellow avant-garde painters who had fled the War in Europe, Max Ernst helped inspire the use of Abstract expressionism among American painters.
His marriage to Peggy Guggenheim did not last, and in Beverly Hills, California in October of 1946, in a double ceremony with Man Ray and Juliet Bowser he married Dorothea Tanning. Ernst remained primarily in the United States, living in Sedona, Arizona and in 1948 wrote the treatise "Beyond Painting" before visiting Europe in 1950. He returned to Paris permanently in 1953 and the following year he won the Venice Biennale. As a result of the publicity, he began to achieve financial success.
In 1963 he and his wife moved to a small town in the south of France where he continued to work. He designed stage sets and a fountain for the city of Ambois. In 1975, a retrospective of his works was held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, and the Galeries Nationales du Grand-Palais in Paris published a complete catalogue of his works.
Max Ernst died on April 1, 1976, in Paris, France and was interred there in the Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Ernst Mach (February 18, 1838 – February 19, 1916) was an Austrian-Czech physicist and philosopher and is the namesake for the "Mach number" and the optical illusion known as Mach bands.
Ernst Mach was born in Chrlice (now part of Brno), Czech Republic. He was educated at home until the age of 14, then went briefly to gymnasium before entering the University of Vienna at 17. There he studied mathematics, physics and philosophy, and received a doctorate in physics in 1860. His early work was focused on Doppler effect in optics and acoustics. In 1864 he took a job as professor of mathematics in Graz, in 1866 he was also appointed as a professor of physics. During that period Mach became interested also in physiology of sensory perception. In 1867 Mach took the chair of a professor of experimental physics at Charles University, Prague.
Mach returned to the University of Vienna as professor of inductive philosophy in 1895, but he suffered a stroke two years later and retired from active research in 1901, when he was appointed to the Austrian parliament. He continued to lecture and publish in retirement. Mach died on 19 February 1916 in Haar, Germany.
Most of his studies in the field of experimental physics were devoted to interference, diffraction, polarization and refraction of light in different media under external influences. These studies were soon followed by his important explorations in the field of supersonic velocity. Mach's paper on this subject was published in 1877 and correctly describes the sound effects observed during the supersonic motion of a projectile. Mach deduced and mathematically confirmed the existence of a shock wave which has the form of a cone with the projectile at the apex. The ratio of the speed of projectile to the speed of sound vp/vs is now called the Mach number. It plays a crucial role in dualdynamics and thermodynamics. He also contributed to cosmology the hypothesis known as Mach's principle.
Ernst Lubitsch (January 28, 1892 – November 30, 1947) was a German-born film director. His urbane comedies of manners gave him the reputation of being Hollywood's most elegant and sophisticated director; as his prestige grew, his films were promoted as having "the Lubitsch touch".
In 1947 he received an Honorary Academy Award for his distinguished contributions to the art of the motion picture, and he was nominated 3 times for Best Director.
Born in Berlin, as son of a Jewish tailor Simcha (Simon) Lubitch (Russian: Любич) and his wife Anna of Russian immigrants. Lubitsch turned his back on his father's tailoring business to enter the theater, and by 1911, he was a member of Max Reinhardt's Deutsches Theater. He made his film debut the following year as an actor, but he gradually abandoned acting to concentrate on directing.
Lubitsch finally left Germany for Hollywood in 1922, contracted as a director by Mary Pickford. He directed Pickford in the film Rosita; the result was a critical and commercial success, but director and star clashed during its filming, and it ended up as the only project that they made together. A free agent after just one American film, Lubitsch was signed to a remarkable three-year, six-picture contract by Warner Brothers that guaranteed the director his choice of both cast and crew, and full editing control over the final cut.
In 1940, he directed The Shop Around the Corner, an artful comedy of cross purposes. The film reunited Lubitsch with his Merry Widow screenwriter Raphaelson, and starred James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan as a pair of bickering coworkers in Budapest, each unaware that the other is their secret romantic correspondent. David Thomson wrote of it:
The Shop Around the Corner... is among the greatest of films... This is a love story about a couple too much in love with love to fall tidily into each other's arms. Though it all works out finally, a mystery is left, plus the fear of how easily good people can miss their chances. Beautifully written (by Lubitsch's favorite writer, Samson Raphaelson), Shop Around the Corner is a treasury of hopes and anxieties based in the desperate faces of Stewart and Sullavan. It is a comedy so good it frightens us for them. The cafe conversation may be the best meeting in American film. The shot of Sullavan's gloved hand, and then her ruined face, searching an empty mail box for a letter is one of the most fragile moments in film. For an instant, the ravishing Sullavan looks old and ill, touched by loss.
In March 1947, Lubitsch was awarded a Special Academy Award for his "25-year contribution to motion pictures". Presenter Mervyn LeRoy, calling Lubitsch "a master of innuendo", described some of his attributes as a filmmaker: "He had an adult mind and a hatred of saying things the obvious way." Lubitsch was the subject of several interviews at that time, and consistently cited The Shop Around the Corner as his favorite of his films. Considering his overall career, he mused, "I made sometimes pictures which were not up to my standard, but then it can only be said about a mediocrity that all his works live up to his standard."
He died later that year in Hollywood of a heart attack, his sixth, reportedly on the casting couch, groaning under the weight of a young starlet. His last film, That Lady in Ermine with Betty Grable, was completed by Otto Preminger and released posthumously in 1948.
Leaving Lubitsch's funeral, Billy Wilder ruefully said, "No more Lubitsch." William Wyler responded, "Worse than that. No more Lubitsch pictures." Wilder had a sign over his office door, which read "How would Lubitsch do it?". He has a Star on the Walk of Fame at 7040 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, California.