Ernst Fuchs is a Vienna born (1930) painter and artist. His father, Maximilian, was Jewish, and fled the Nazis to Shanghai when the Second World War broke in 1939. His mother had to baptize him during the war in order to increase the chances of his survival. He started his art studies already during the war, and at the end of it, he joined the Viennese Academy. He was strongly impressed by the surrealists (later on in life he and Salvador Dali became friends), and more generally from artists from all eras of painting who come under the title "visionary artists" such as Bocklin and Bosch.
ארנסט פוקס, גדול ציירי הריאליזם
הפנטסטי, הוטבל לנצרות בגיל 12; זו הייתה הדרך היחידה להנצל ממחנות ההשמדה. כשהתבגר
אמר פוקס שלאירוע זה הייתה השפעה עמוקה על המשך חייו ויצירתו כאמן - הוא ראה את ישו
מול עיניו בכל מקום. "נשיקת הספינקס" היא יצירה מוקדמת יחסית של פוקס שמבטאת את עולמו
הדו-קוטבי: פנטזיה של מיניות ודת, יצריות וקדושה, מוות וחיי נצח. הספינקס, יצור מיתולוגי
בעולם הפנטזיה של פוקס, דמוי אשה חושנית, חלקו העליון של גופה נשי, יפה ומפתה, וחלקו
התחתון הינו גוף של חיה טורפת - אריה, יונק את לשדו ונשמתו של הגבר, של ישו, בנשיקה
תאוותנית, ומותיר אותו ריק ומיובש, שפתיו נפוחות ופצועות - הצלוב שהורד מן הצלב. הדפס
אפל ורב הבעה זה מראה את יכולתו הטכנית הגבוהה של פוקס ואת כשרונו להעביר לצופה את
החוויה הטרנסנדנטאלית של השלווה שלאחר הסבל. צירפתי גם צילום של ההדפס בתאורה חזקה
במיוחד כי אלוהים נמצא בפרטים.
In terms of painting techniques, Ernst Fuches studied the works of old masters of the German school such as Altdorfer, Durer, Grunewald, and Schongauer. He and other students of the Viennese Academy, who graduated with him, formed what is now known as the Vienna school of fantastic realism. At that time, the direction taken by this group was not in favor with critics, who preferred the abstract and other modern 20'th century styles, but later on they did won their acclaim, and Fuchs is considered to be the leading representative of this school.
Fuchs combines his excellent technical qualifications with the Impressionist color approaches, and dedicate his finesse and precision to fantastic subjects. His earlier color etching "Im Kuss der Sphinx" (The kiss of the Sphinx) is a beautiful dark and sensual portrait of a dead man - the kiss of the Sphinx has suck the life out of him. I believe that he wanted to represent Jesus Christ as a victim of passion - was he inspired from Heine?
"...She drank my burning kisses
with ravenous thirst and greed.
She drank the breath from out my breast,
she fed lust without pause;
she pressed me tight, and tore and rent
my body with her claws." [Heinrich Heine's poem in the forward to his Buch der Lieder of 1839]
"Im Kuss der Sphinx"
"Epreuve d'Artist" (EA) - one of 10 artist's approved copies - "Einer von Zehn"
"Ernst Fuchs" - Artist's signature
Fuchs is very versatile. Besides graphic works and paintings he did sculptures, stage designs and also engaged himself in other forms of (non-plastic) arts such as music and poetry. He is also very prolific in marketing his art and his designs and his works appear on all kinds of everyday mass produced objects such as Champagne bottles and decorative tiles for bathrooms. "This does not impair the brilliant genius of Fuchs' early work, especially in the technique of etching" - thanks to Rene Desor for his beautiful photos of Fuchs' works and for his deep and mature approach to art.
There is no doubt in my mind that Ernst Fuchs is a highly gifted and original artist, but I admit I prefer his earlier works (1960 - 1970) on his more recent ones. Some artists manage to keep the urge to search, to look for new ways, to dig deeper without compromising throughout the entire period of their working life. Others sometimes loose the drive on the way. Maybe the commercial temptations are too strong. Or maybe it is omnipotent feelings which are brought about by fame and success, and lead the artist in less inspired ways?
Size of etching plate: 1' 5.7" x 11.8"
- 45 cm x 30 cm - 17.7 in x 11.8 in
Size of visible print paper: 1' 6.5" x 1' 0.6" - 47 cm x 32 cm - 18.5 in x 12.6 in
Size of frame: 2' 2" x 1' 6.9" - 66 cm x 48 cm - 26 in x 18.9 in
Type of frame: Wood - the art print is under glass, framed in a passe-partout
Etching technique: Copper plate color etching with 2 color plates / Intaglio print
Origin: Vienna - Austria
Edition: "Epreuve d'Artist" (EA) - one of 10 artist's approved copies - "Einer von Zehn" inscribed by the artist in pencil at the lower left margin - the whole limited edition consists of 99 impressions
Title: "Im Kuss der Sphinx" inscribed by the artist
Signature: "Ernst Fuchs" - signed by the artist in pencil at the lower right margin.
Price: $1950P1003/PAI042 - Ernst Fuchs Master Etching