Hans Bellmer

Hans Bellmer was a key figure in the Surealist movment made over a hundred photos of several dolls with the assistance of his brother and his sister in-law made in the early 1930s in part as a protest against Germany’s Nazi regime, and in part out of an expression of erotic feelings…

” Entirely feminine in its depicted materials and iconography”, the art of Bellmer “is nevertheless not about women, woman, or a woman, not even about the historical construction of femininity, although such readings are possible. It is instead about masculine anxieties inspired by the female sex and its perceived lack ” notes Sue Taylor in her remarkable study: ” Hans Bellmer, the anatomy of anxiety ” (2000).

About The Artist:
The German-born surrealist artist, Hans Bellmer lived in France from 1938 until his death in 1975.
He is essentially the poet of an obsessional erotic and fetishist magic. Bellmer is also one of the most peculiar etchers: his inventive work is highlighted by a technique of up and downstrokes lines that produce a vibrant drawing.

” Entirely feminine in its depicted materials and iconography”, the art of Bellmer “is nevertheless not about women, woman, or a woman, not even about the historical construction of femininity, although such readings are possible. It is instead about masculine anxieties inspired by the female sex and its perceived lack ” notes Sue Taylor in her remarkable study: ” Hans Bellmer, the anatomy of anxiety ” (2000).

Biography:

Early influence of Klinger, Beardsley. and Toulouse—Lautrec.
1923 Arrives in Berlin and becomes an industrial designer. Becomes friends with George Grosz, John Heartfield, and Rudolf Schlichter.
1924 Studies typography in Berlin; supervises book illustrations. Spends winter in Paris; influence of Seurat and Pascin.
1931—33 Makes several trips to the Mediterranean, specifically Italy and Tunis.
1932 Trip to Colmar where he “discovers” Grunewald and is attracted to his representations of grief and despair. He particularly admires Grunewald’s ability to use the entire body as the sole means of emotional interpretation.
During this year, Belimer also made many visits to the Cabinet des Dessins at the Kaiser—Friedrich Museum, Berlin, where he explored the treasures of Germanic art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. He became interested in the art of the Reformation and Inquisition where themes of torture and murder abounded. Although freed from the religious context of the latter, Bellmer’s work still speaks of the ideas of suff— rance and ecstasy that were so much a part of this period.
1933 Creates the first Doll, a dismembered female mannequin whose separate parts could be made to move and contort into erotic or painful postures.
1934 December issue of Minotaure publishes photographs of La Poupee (The Doll) in various arrangementsmand stages of construction.
1936 Visits Paris and joins the Surrealists. His adoption by the Surrealists marked the end of what he felt to be his “moral isolation” and his entry into a modern movement with the satisfaction of finding himself understood and defended.
1938—39 Arrives in Paris from Berlin; forms friendship with Paul Eluard, Yves Tanguy, and Max Ernst; is also in contact with Arp, Breton, Duchamp,and Man Ray.
1939 Begins work on his text, LAnatomie de 1 Image.
1942 Participates in “First Papers of Surrealism” Exhibition in New York.
1949 Publication of his book, Les Jeux de la Poupee (The Games of the Doll), with text by Paul Eluard.
1957 Publication of his book, LAnatomie de 1 Image.
1958 Receives prize from William and Noma Copley Foundation. (Committee: Hans Arp. Alfred Barr, Matta, Max Ernst, Julien Levy. Man Ray, Roland Penrose, Herbert Read, Marcel Duchamp).
1966 Exhibition of his graphics at the Ulm Museum, Germany.
1968 Participates in “Dada, Surrealism, and Their Heritage” Exhibition, Museum of Modern Art. New York.
1975 dies Paris France
RÉSUMÉ:
MAIN GROUP EXHIBITIONS
1936 International Exhibition of Surrealism, New Burlington Gallery, London
1936—37 ‘Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism”, Museum of Modern Art, New York (also in Philadelphia, Boston, and San Francisco)
1937 International Exhibition of Surrealism, Paris International Exhibition of Surrealism, Tokyo
1947 “Surrealism in 1947”, Galerie Maeght. Paris
1951 “Surrealism”, Saarbrucken
1959—60 international Exhibition of Surrealism, Galerie Daniel Cor— dier, Paris
1963 Galerie Andre—Francois Petit. Paris “Idol and Demon”, Museum of the 20th Century, Vienna
1964 Documenta III. Kassel First International of Drawing, Darmstadt “Surrealism: Sources, History,Affinities”, Galerie Charpentier, ParisFiguration — Defiguration, Ghent
1965 Galerie Andre—Francois Petit, Paris Galleria Galatea, Turin
1966 “Fantastic Figuration”. Haus am Waldsee, Berlin Labyrinthe, Academy of Art, Berlin “Fantastic Art — Surrealism”, Kunst— halle, Bern
1966—67 “Illusion and Reality”, Galerie Gmurzynska, Cologne

ONE MAN SHOWS

1943 Librairie Trentin, Toulouse
1945 Galerie du Luxembourg, Paris
1951 Galerie Morihien, Paris
1952 Galerie J. j. Pauvert, Paris
1953 Galerie Springer, Berlin
1955 Galerie J. j. Pauvert
1963 Galerie Daniel Cordier, Paris
1964 Galerie Sydow. Frankfurt on theMain
1966 StadtischeS Museum, Ulm (30Drawings)
Galerie Gmurzynska, Cologne
Galerie Benador, Genf Galerie Sydow, Frankfurt on the Main
1966—67 Galerie Andre—Francois Petit, Paris
1967
Galleria Galatea, Turin
Kestner—Gese llschaft, Hanover (Retrospective)
German Society of Graphic Arts,
Berlin
Galerie Wolfgang Ketterer, Munich (Retrospective)
Galerie Brusberg, Hanover
Galerie Thomas, Munich
Galerie Miniature, Camilla Speth,
Berlin
Additional Information:
Born: 1902
Birthplace: Katowice, (Upper Seleia), Germany
Died: 1975

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