The Surrealists' fascination with dolls and machines that resembled humans is especially evident in the work of Hans Bellmer (1902-1975), the subject of this comprehensive monograph. Rejecting the Nazis' Aryan ideals, the artist spent the years after 1933 creating disturbing dolls out of wax, wood, flax, plaster and glue--equipped with wigs and glass eyes. Photographs of t...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Hatje Cantz Publishers
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This is a great introduction to the art and the world of Hans Bellmer. Throughout the years I have seen various little books on his 'doll' fixation, which of course is disturbing, but also are highly erotic. Here we have drawings and photographs of his scuptures (dolls) that are placed in dark staircases or by a dead tree. There is a mixture of death, sexual activity, and the forbidden -which for me is an attraction to this inner-world of Bellmer.
There are tons of typos, and a few images are annoyingly pixelated, but as far as I've found this is the most expansive catalogue of Bellmer's work, and that's what's important. Bellmer is easily my favorite artist associated/involved with the Surrealists, and the essays in this book are mildly illuminating about his life and work. Overall this is worth it for the brilliant images alone.