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Hans Bellmer

Artist 116

Hans Bellmer Dolls Resistance Art

Hans Bellmer ( 1902 – 1975) was a German Artist, best known for the life-sized female dolls he produced in the mid-1930s.

He initiated his doll project to oppose the fascism of the Nazi Party by declaring that he would make no work that would support the new German state. Represented by mutated forms and unconventional poses, his dolls were directed specifically at the cult of the perfect body then prominent in Germany.

Bellmer's doll project is also said to have been catalysed by a series of events in his personal life. Hans Bellmer takes credit for provoking a physical crisis in his father and brings his own artistic creativity into association with childhood insubordination and resentment toward a severe and humorless paternal authority. Perhaps this is one reason for the nearly universal, unquestioning acceptance in the literature of Bellmer's promotion of his art as a struggle against his father, the police, and ultimately, fascism and the state.

He was forced to flee Germany to France in 1938, where Bellmer's work was welcomed by the Surrealists. He aided the French Resistance during the war by making fake passports.

A lot of sources reference his art as using ‘young’ girls but I don’t see this. Perhaps due to their deformity the sculptures seem mature to me.

Bellmer’s art uses Abject to challenge the idealized images of the Nazi Party. He revolted through art and I think that’s really cool.


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