Collection: Hans Bellmer

Bellmer was born in Kattowitz, Germany (now Katowice, Poland) and trained as a technical draughtsman in Berlin. He became a friend of Georg Grosz, a strong influence upon his early work and, with the Nazi rise to power in 1933, declared that he too wouldn’t produce art in support of them, rebelling through his Dolls series. These figures were explicitly erotic and a challenge to the fascist aesthetic.

Bellmer published photographs of these models in a portfolio entitled “Die Puppe” in 1934, some appearing in the Surrealist journal “Le Minotaure”. He later moved to France after his wife’s death and spent the rest of his life in Paris. There he worked with the Surrealists, focussing on drawings and etchings inspired by the Marquis de Sade which explored sexuality in a distinctive, figurative style.