Media - 1986.6.28 - SAAM-1986.6.28_1 - 9427
Copied Jimmy Ernst, Timescape, 1956, oil on canvas, 3647 78 in. (91.4121.5 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation, 1986.6.28

Artwork Details

Not on view
3647 78 in. (91.4121.5 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Abstract — geometric
Object Number

Artwork Description

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.

Luce Object 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