Checkpoint I

Accession Number

Checkpoint I

Jimmy Ernst

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
oil on masonite

11 1/8 in x 15 1/16 in (28.26 cm x 38.26 cm);15 1/16 in x 18 7/8 in (38.26 cm x 47.94 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Irving Levitt

Subject matter
Jimmy Ernst, son of the surrealist Max Ernst, was a prominent member of the Surrealist and Abstract Expressionist movements in his own right. Checkpoint I  features bright and unnatural colors and lines that are arranged with strategic skill in geometric patterns. The scene is reminiscent of a checkpoint tower along a border with a fence and barbed wire. Ernst was born in Germany so it is possible that he is referencing the Berlin wall, which was erected in 1961. 

Physical Description
This painting has a large tower of geometric lines and shapes on the right side and and a large square with similar lines on the left side. In the foreground, along the bottom edge of the painting, is an arrangment of rectangles that are criss-crossed with additional lines. Bright blue, red, yellow and white appear throughout the painting.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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border inspection stations
geometric patterns
modern and contemporary art

& Author Notes

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