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Exhibition : the lost worlds of Unica Zürn

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As of September 26, 1961 march 23, 1963, Unica Zürn, a poet and a cartoonist, is interned at the Sainte-Anne hospital. She is admitted following a crisis during which she destroyed many drawings. In the two rooms that the hospital dedicated to regular exhibitions are now gathered a hundred of his drawings and a few documents and archives. The last retrospective in Paris took place at the Halle Saint-Pierre in 2006 and his designs have been repeatedly shown in the last twenty years in community events, each placed under the sign of surrealism, the other under that of mental disorders. Zürn, therefore, is not an unknown. However, each time that the gaze is in the presence of one of his drawings and that he applies to enter, the strangeness and magnetism operate as if it was the first time.

Unica Zürn, so. Born in Berlin in 1916 into a middle-class family, father, cavalry officer and traveller in the long course, mother heiress wealthy. Parents ‘ Divorce in 1930, the remarriage of his mother, Pauline, the following year, with Heinrich Doehle (1883-1963), high-ranking SS who, it seems, was not worried after 1945. The father of Unica Zürn fits him-even the nazi party in 1932. After studies in commerce, she worked as a screenwriter and advertising in the studios of the UFA, which is the instrument cinema of the Third Reich, under the supervision of Goebbels. She married in 1942 and had two children, in 1943 and 1945. His elder brother Horst died in August 1944 near Vitebsk. Youth painful and trite in the Third Reich.

In 1953, still in the world of the arts in berlin, she met Hans Bellmer (1902-1975)

In 1949, Unica Zürn divorce and leaves her children to the custody of their father. Although we do not know precisely how, she becomes a familiar of the artistic cabaret ” Die Badewanne (” the bath “), one of whose founders was the painter and dancer Alexander Camaro (1901-1992). Held to be degenerate by the nazis and, therefore, forbidden to show, it has survived as a dancer and then returned to painting, from post-expressionism and surrealism. It was he who had proposed to Unica, of which he is the lover, try the watercolor.

See the portfolio : The imaginary fantastic of Unica Zürn

In 1953, still in the world of the arts in berlin, she meets an artist of any importance that Camaro, Hans Bellmer (1902-1975). In 1934, he built The Doll, sculpture-volume curves arranged in the form of a naked body headless. He made her suites of photographs, and was soon published in the surrealist magazine Minotaure. Refugee in France in 1938, went into hiding during the Occupation because he was unable to flee the United States, an illustrator of stories erotic from Georges Bataille, it is, in surrealism, post-war, the one that sets the impulses and sexual obsessions without nothing to hide. Shortly after their meeting, Zürn and Bellmer set off together to Paris, where Unica is the knowledge of the friends of Bellmer : Man Ray, Victor Brauner, Max Ernst and Jean Arp, among others.