Max Ernst on the rooftop of the Kasmin Gallery (New York)
On October 10th, Paul Kasmin Gallery (509 W 27th Street, New York) inaugurated a new exhibition space on its building’s rooftop with three monumental sculptures by Joel Shapiro. Named Kasmin Sculpture Garden, this suspended garden is designed to host temporary exhibits year round that can be seen from the High Line – a famous urban trail developed on the former railroad tracks of the Lower West Side subway.
The next exhibition includes three bronze sculptures by Max Ernst dating from the end of his career when he returned to France, first in Huismes (Indre-et-Loire) and then in Seillans (Var).
During the years Max Ernst lived in Huismes, the house was filled with works of all sorts. Many sculptures were scattered around the property grounds, in the courtyard, on the windows, the outside stairs, and the round stone table, still visible in the backyard. They transformed the place at times into a Lewis Caroll-like royal courtyard, at times into a simple farm courtyard from a Grimm brothers’ tale. All independent from each other, they remained on the ground or on a wall. 1
The outdoors is therefore a familiar environment for the three bronze sculptures. Le génie de la Bastille (1960), three meters high, plays the role of a protective totem in this small tribe of animal-like anthropomorphic creatures. In Grand grenouille (1967), Ernst uses visual elements of the bird and the frog, a recurring bestiary in his work, but he also integrates more geometric shapes, as in Big Brother (1967). The human and the animal cohabitate in the bountiful imagination, altogether fantastic and comical, that permeates Max Ernst’s entire work.
Kasmin Sculpture Garden
509 W 27th Street
New York, NY 10001
Visible from the High Line
From 24 janvier 2019
1 p. 44 from the Catalogue Max Ernst. Sculptures Maisons et Paysages, Centre Georges Pompidou, May 6 – July 27 1998.