28 September, 2005

La Poupée

A quick guessing competition.
Look at the two images below and name the artist.

The works were seen on the weekend at the Pompidou Centre, Paris.

If your first response was Cindy Sherman, then you are not alone.
But you are incorrect. The works were dated 1949, which is too early for Sherman.

This is a Sherman.

and this is Hans Bellmer

Hans Bellmer (German)

1902 - 1975

German-French artist Hans Bellmer studied engineering in Berlin from 1922 to 1924, but gave up to work as a typographer and bookbinder. In 1933 he made his first doll, an articulated figure of a young girl, based on his fifteen-year-old cousin Ursula and on memories of his adolescent sexual encounters. The following year he published a collection of ten photographs of the doll, which were welcomed by the Surrealists for the way in which they broke sexual taboos and released repressed desires. From 1946 Bellmer produced a series of meticulously executed drawings and etchings developing the theme of violent eroticism.

La Poupée [The Doll]1933

This photograph previously belonged to André Breton, the leader of the surrealist group, who was a great admirer of Bellmer’s work. It shows Bellmer’s second doll, made in 1935. Bellmer made several dolls, the first one in 1933, all of which had moveable parts that could be put together in many strange and disquieting combinations. Bellmer’s photographs of his doll are carefully staged in both interior and exterior settings. They show how photography could further explore the eroticism of the doll and the obsessive desire that led to its creation.


Prints & Drawings

Hans Bellmer in The Art Institute of Chicago: The Wandering Libido and the Hysterical Body

more from sue taylor
"Bellmer's doll still casts her shadow over Cindy Sherman's hermaphroditic grotesqueries, Robert Gober's hairy wax legs, Kim Dingle's naughty little girls, and Tony Oursler's video puppets, among many others."

the faces of cindy sherman

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