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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Hans Bellmer

Dates:  1902, 13 March - 1975, 23 February
Born:  Germany, Silesia, Katowice (Katowize)
Died:  France, Paris
Active:  Germany / France
 
  
Studied engineering at the Technische Hochaschule in Berlin and met Georg Grosz at the drawing classes. He worked at Malik Verlag as a graphic designer and this was the influential publishing house set up by the brother of John Heartfield. He is particularly remembered for his images of articulated dolls taken in contorted positions that were published in a book and in the surrealist publication ‘Minotaur‘. A memorial plaque was dedicated on his house at Ehrenfelsstraße 8 A in Berlin-Lichtenberg, S-Bahn Karlshorst (April 15, 2008)

Preparing biographies


Biography provided by Focal Press 
  
Influenced by surrealism, Bellmer used sexually taboo imagery to symbolize and protest Nazi German society of the 1930s. Bellmer fabricated a life-size doll of a pubescent girl to make ambiguously erotic and jarring tableaus. Published as an artists’ book, Bellmer’s hand-colored photographs contrasted Nazism’s mythic, utopian celebration of youth with the reality that it fostered abuse, decay, and death. 
  
(Author: Robert Hirsch - Independent scholar and writer) 
  
Michael Peres (Editor-in-Chief), 2007, Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, 4th edition, (Focal Press) [ISBN-10: 0240807405, ISBN-13: 978-0240807409] 
(Used with permission) 
  

Further research

 
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Karin Székessy
Portrait of the artist Hans Bellmer (1902-1975) in his studio with his surrealistic doll. 
1960s
 
  
Family history 
  
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch. 
  
alan@luminous-lint.com
 
  
 
  

Visual indexes

 
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Internet biographies

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Wikipedia has a biography of this photographer.Show on this siteGo to website
Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website
Grove Art Online (www.groveart.com) has a biography of this artist. 
[NOTE: This is a subscription service and you will need to pay an annual fee to access the content.]
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Internet resources

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Hans Bellmer 
http://www.artic.edu ... 
Hans Bellmer in The Art Institute of Chicago: The Wandering Libido and the Hysterical Body 
  
 

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

 
• Auer, Michele & Michel 1985 Encyclopedie Internationale Des Photographes de 1839 a Nos Jours / Photographers Encylopaedia International 1839 to the present (Hermance, Editions Camera Obscura) 2 volumes [A classic reference work for biographical information on photographers.] 
  
• Coke, Van Deren with Diana C. Du Pont 1986 Photography: A Facet of Modernism (New York: Hudson Hills Press, The San Francisco Museum of Art) p.167 
  
• Evans, Martin Marix (Executive ed.) 1995 Contemporary Photographers [Third Edition] (St. James Press - An International Thomson Publishing Company) [Expensive reference work but highly informative.] 
  
• Fernandez, Horacio (ed.) 2000 Fotografía Pública: Photography in Print 1919-1939 (Aldeasa) p.56 [This Spanish exhibition catalogue is one of the best sources for illustrations of photomontage and book design for the period between the two World Wars.] 
  
• International Center of Photography 1999 Reflections in a Glass Eye: Works from the International Center of Photography Collection (New York: A Bulfinch Press Book) p.208 [Includes a well written short biography on Hans Bellmer with example plate(s) earlier in book.] 
  
• Lenman, Robin (ed.) 2005 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford: Oxford University Press)  [Includes a short biography on Hans Bellmer.] 
  
 

Useful printed stuff

If there is an analysis of a single photograph or a useful self portrait I will highlight it here.

 
• Sobieszek, Robert A. and Deborah Irmas 1994 the camera i: Photographic Self-Portraits (Los Angeles: LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art) p.207, Plate 53 [When the Audrey and Sydney Irmas collection was donated to LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1992 the museum gained a remarkable collection of self portraits of notable photographers. If you need a portrait of Hans Bellmer this is a useful starting point.] 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
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