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Hans Bellmer

<p>Jointure A boule, 1936, Mixed Media </p><p>Mains Articulees 1, 1950, Oil and Gouache on canvas </p><p>Death and the Maiden, 1936, oil and gouache on board </p><p>In Memory, 1936, Oil, Gouache, Pencil on wood panel</p><p>Embryo Education, 1963 Oil gouache on wood Panel</p>

 

Bellmer’s work has often been misunderstood and classified as “hard core“ erotic, though less than 5% of his work is “graphically“ erotic. It is often forgotten to study Bellmer in his real context, Surrealism, whose main theme, according to William Rubin, is eroticism. If Rubin’s premise is correct, as we believe, then it follows that Bellmer was the most Surrealist artist, since he pushed the movement’s main subject into extreme and uncharted territory.

 

We question the idea that Bellmer’s eroticism has made his work difficult for the general public.  We believe that what is difficult in his work is that his eroticism is bathed in tragedy and death, subjects not in favor with most people. Bellmer is perhaps the most pessimistic artist since Munch. He might even be described as the most expressionism accenting the horror and nightmare in existence. Bellmer said, “My work is a scandal because life is a scandal.” Few humans wish to look upon their life as scandal, much less one that has its base in tragedy, death and fragility. It is not eroticism that one finds difficult, but rather eroticism anchored in the void.

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