Skip to Main Content

Hans Bellmer

German, 1902–1975

1,330 followers
Follow

Hans Bellmer

German, 1902–1975

1,330
Followers
Biography

Hans Bellmer adopted his controversial practice—the creation of provocative, often grotesque sculptures of pubescent female dolls—in the 1930s to rebel against the artistic rules and standards of beauty imposed by the Nazi government. After moving to Berlin in 1923, Bellmer became close with the Dada artists, particularly George Grosz, a politically minded painter who furthered Bellmer’s distrust of government. Fearing that his art would be outlawed by the Nazis as “degenerate”, in 1934 Bellmer sought acceptance abroad with André Breton and the French Surrealists, who embraced his work for its revolutionary nature and libidinous engagement with female youth. In addition to his sculptures, Bellmer produced prints, photographs, and drawings, always dealing with themes of abject sexuality and forbidden desire. Also a writer, he referred to his doll projects as “experimental poetry”.

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 9 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 1 more
Biography

Hans Bellmer adopted his controversial practice—the creation of provocative, often grotesque sculptures of pubescent female dolls—in the 1930s to rebel against the artistic rules and standards of beauty imposed by the Nazi government. After moving to Berlin in 1923, Bellmer became close with the Dada artists, particularly George Grosz, a politically minded painter who furthered Bellmer’s distrust of government. Fearing that his art would be outlawed by the Nazis as “degenerate”, in 1934 Bellmer sought acceptance abroad with André Breton and the French Surrealists, who embraced his work for its revolutionary nature and libidinous engagement with female youth. In addition to his sculptures, Bellmer produced prints, photographs, and drawings, always dealing with themes of abject sexuality and forbidden desire. Also a writer, he referred to his doll projects as “experimental poetry”.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 9 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 1 more
Shows Featuring Hans Bellmer
Articles Featuring Hans Bellmer
8 Surrealist Photographers You Should Know, from Dora Maar to Man Ray
Feb 22nd, 2018
8 Surrealist Photographers You Should Know, from Dora Maar to Man Ray
Navigate right