Sunday 11 August 2019

Hans Bellmer: The Doll

'Hans Bellmer (1902-1975) is one of the most illustrious names in the field of erotic art and Surrealism' (Bellmer: 2005 Insert) Bellmer's creations are based on a girl between childhood and puberty, Bellmer physically creates these strange creatures and photographs them.  They are often dismembered or put together in a disturbing formation.

This doll above is described by The Tate:

'Bellmer completed a second doll sculpture in the autumn of 1935 and photographed it in different stages of dismemberment in over a hundred different scenarios, often shown wearing little white socks and the black patent leather shoes of young girls. The present photograph shows a version of the second Doll with no arms or legs, hanging from a tree. Her torso is actually a second pelvis placed back to front and upside-down on top of the central ball joint, which forms her stomach. The photograph is taken from below in a way that emphasises the doll’s breasts and genitals, while her face is partially obscured. Bellmer presents us with the aftermath of torture or abuse.' (Bottinelli G. 2004)

Here is another example: 

Here the doll is missing limbs and has been deconstructed or unfinished so that she looks like she has decayed.  These creatures are perhaps showing a corrupted vision of a society, of woman but perhaps mostly the voyeuristic viewer.  these dolls were fetish objects, sexual and uncompromising and the viewer stares into this deranged vision.  I chose Bellmner as my next piece will deconstruct my army, my army has to be dismantled.

Bottinelli  G. (2004) The Tate, Hans Bellmer, The Doll [Online] Available from: (Accessed 11/08/19)

Bellmer H (2005) Translated from the Geman by Malcolm Green, Atlas Anti-Classic 14, Atlas Press, London.

Lichtenstein T (2001) Behind Closed Doors: The Art of Hans Bellmer, University of California Press, Berkley, Los Angeles, Calfornia.

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