Late 19th & early 20th Century Paintings & Decorative Arts Gallery Level 2, NGV International
In 1953, Max Ernst left Arizona and settled in Touraine with his American wife, the Surrealist painter Dorothea Tanning. Living on their farm of ‘Pin-Perdu’, the couple enjoyed a period of tranquillity and great productivity. Tanning repeatedly used rose imagery, and stated: ‘around 1955 my canvases literally splintered … I broke the mirror, you might say’. The title of this 1955 grattage (rubbing) painting is obscure, but perhaps refers to this episode or even to the skein of graduated pinks rippling across the lower section of the image and emerging from beneath a black surface layer.