Amy Ernst

“I didn’t choose to be an artist, it chose me.” Amy Ernst


The Poetry of the Whole is the Sum of Its Parts

In Amy Ernst's work, it is very difficult to say what, exactly, the subjects are. That is because she has an aptitude for combining the identifiable and the unidentifiable in such a way that it produces a maverick, a hybrid, an unknown language, if you will. When combined with her deft sense of color, which now sings as perhaps never before, the artist has given us, the viewers, many pieces of poetry to contemplate.

Poetic images such as these are important, I feel, because they are such a departure from SO much other contemporary work. So much of other contemporary work reveals everything it has to offer immediately, right up front, a sort of "what you see is what you get" approach. I call these works cone-liners." In short, one's life is not enriched by them, and therefore one does not want to spend much time looking at them. Indeed, it was the English art critic Herbert Read, who stated as long ago as the 1930s that a work of art &must persist over time as an object of contemplation, otherwise it is not a work of art, but an artifact." A desire for contemplation provides the viewer with spiritual sustenance and a sense of revelation, and Amy's latest works succeed in this respect now as perhaps more than ever.

True, it takes time to evolve as an artist, to find one's voice so to speak. And it is also true that the last thing an artist wants to hear is that their work reminds the viewer of that of someone else. However, in an age when the figure, for example, beginning with Picasso especially, has been twisted, distorted, and reconfigured in myriad ways, somehow Amy knew instinctively that her métier was in combining what the eyes see and what they do not see as her vocabulary. She creates her works intuitively to be sure, and what and when they are finished relies on intuition also. However, importantly, her works do not descend into mere decoration. They invite contemplation: one can return to them repeatedly over time.

In our tumultuous age, when the world is in desperate need of some kind of balance and equilibrium, Amy's works provide a much-needed respite, indeed a refuge. It has been said that music begins where words end, but so does art, and that is why I cannot say more about Amy's works than they do themselves.

– Stephen Robeson-Miller, May 2023, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Ernst is a fourth-generation artist. Her great-grandfather, Philip Ernst, was a painter and teacher for the deaf and blind; her grandfather, Max Ernst, is often referred to as “the father of surrealism”; and her father, Jimmy Ernst, was a very talented abstract surrealist. 

“My family is focused on knowledge. That’s how I see myself as an artist—as someone who disseminates knowledge,” says Ernst.

Ernst studied theater and set design at Emerson College in Boston. She considers herself a mixed-media artist and makes prints and collages in her homes in Florida and in New York City. 


2023 - 2024  DIE GALERIE, Frankfurt, Germany  

2023 - 2024  Sedona City Hall, Sedona, AZ – Elements of Collage 

2023  Capricorn Hill, Sedona, AZ – Elements of Collage II 

2020  DIE GALERIE, Germany – Art Cologne 

2020  Sedona Arts Center, Sedona, AZ – 31 Women 

2019  Die Galerie, Frankfurt, Germany – Surrealism and Beyond 

2018  Grace Howel Contemporary Art, Sarasota, FL – Collaborations 

2017  Arts Center Sarasota, FL – The Third Entity 

2014  Patrick Waldenberg House/Museum, Seilans, France – Voyeur 

2008  Flomenhaft Gallery, New York City – Places I have Never Been 

2006  Carteret Contemporary Art, Morehead City, NC – New Abstractions 

2006  Robert Curcio Gallery, New York City – Collaged Tapestries 

2005  Galerie Zero, Barcelona, Spain – La Surrealista 

2003  Carteret Contemporary Art, Morehead City, NC – Adjusting the Eyes 

2002  City Art Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden – Peace 

2001  Clayton & Liberatore Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY – Collage 

2000  Caroline Wiseman Fine Arts, London, England – Three Generations 

2000  Clayton & Liberatore Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY – Future-Past 

1999  Clayton & Liberatore Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY – New Abstractions 

1998  Clayton & Liberatore Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY – Body 

1996  Robert Curcio Gallery, New York City – Paperworks

1995  479 Gallery, New York City – Visions From Within 

1994  Manatee Community College, Bradenton, FL – Renaissance Surrealist

1993  Galerie Delacroix, Tangiers, Morocco – Renaissance Collageist 

1992  Clayton & Liberatore Gallery, Bridgehampton, NY – Metamorphosis