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Ernst Biography

Born on 2 April 1891 in Brühl, near Cologne. Painter, poet. Studied philosophy at the Bonn university (1909 - 1911). Never had any formal artistic training. Exhibited at the First German Autumn Saloon "Sturm", Berlin, 1913 and in the same year went to Paris for the first time. There he came to know the work of Picasso and de Chirico. In 1914 he met Arp at the "Werkbund" exhibition, Cologne. Further exhibition at the "Storm" gallery, Berlin, in 1916. In 1919 he founded, together with Arp and  Baargeld, the Cologne dada group and collaborated with Arp in the creation of the "Fatagaga" collages ("Fatagaga" = "Fabrication de tableaux garantis gazométriques" = "Manufacture of guaranteed gasometric pictures"). Co-editor of "Dada W3" and "Schammade". Organized the dada-exhibition in the "Brauhaus Winter", which was closed by the police as contrary to "morals". In 1920 first exhibition of collages at the "Sans Pareil" gallery, Paris. Took part in the dada-meeting in Tyrol 1921, together with Arp, Breton and Tzara. Contribution to "Dada in Tirol, Au Grand Air, Der Sängerkrieg". Went to Paris in 1922. Contributor to many dadaist publications. Took an active part in the founding of surrealism and became one of the leading surrealist painters.  Moved to New York in 1942 and lived both there and in Sedona, Arizona, until his return to France in 1954.