MADRID.- In 1934 Max Ernst published his famous collage novel Une semaine de bonté (A Week of Kindness) in Paris. Comprising five booklets each named after a day of the week it is one of the most fascinating documents of Surrealism. Inspired by the wood-engraved illustrations of late 19th-century popular fiction, but also by artists such as Max Klinger or Gustave Doré, Max Ernst created bizarre, fantastic visions that revolve around themes of jealousy, murder and death. Now, for the first time since 1936, the original collages of Une semaine de bonté are being exhibited in their entirety. This presentation also offers insight into how the works were made: using an ingenious cut-and-paste technique, Max Ernst combined the selected motifs to create allusive and seductive visual worlds. This involved rotating some of the original images by ninety degrees, placing others in a state of suspension or making them rotate on their own axis. Through this process of defamiliarisation he created provocatively enigmatic visual scenarios. The unique presentation of all 184 original collages has been organised in collaboration with the Albertina in Vienna and the Max Ernst Museum in Brühl.
It is above all thanks to the efforts of Werner Spies, a leading authority on the work of Max Ernst and a friend of the artists over many years that the cycle is being shown here for the very first time on such a scale. This exhibition could not have been realised without the exceptional loans from the collections of the French publisher Daniel Filipacchi and the Isidore Ducasse Foundation in New York.