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1956 Jimmy Ernst Born: Cologne, Germany 1920 Died: New York, New York 1984 oil on canvas 36 x 47 7/8 in. (91.4 x 121.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation 1986.6.28 Not currently on view

Luce Center Quote

“. . . that is what I really think of painting---having a conversation with the surface, and at a certain point it begins to talk back.” Ernst, June 1975, interview by Louise Svendson, quoted in Kuspit, Jimmy Ernst, Art and Life, 2000

Exhibition Label

Jimmy Ernst used complex interlocking lines and geometric shapes to manipulate pictorial space. In Timescape he conjured a dreamlike world of totemic forms. Rather than the bold, gestural brushstrokes of his abstract expressionist contemporaries, Ernst preferred delicate lines and precise marks that captured the energy of subconscious creation. 

Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection, 2014

Luce Center Label

Jimmy Ernst used a Japanese sword striper paintbrush to create the delicate arrangement of blue and white lines in the center of this painting, which contrasts with the dark, heavy shapes on either side. The image conjures a dreamlike world of structures spinning and whirring like fantastic wind machines. Ernst used shades of blue with only occasional touches of red to emphasize the different textures of paint, from the scumbled mass on the left to the dense, overlapping shapes on the right.


Abstract - geometric


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Jimmy Ernst

Born: Cologne, Germany 1920 Died: New York, New York 1984

More works in the collection by
Jimmy Ernst