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Unica Zürn

1916-1970 (GERMANY)

BORN IN GERMANY IN 1916, UNICA ZÜRN WAS A VITAL FIGURE IN THE HISTORY OF SURREALISM. DEEPLY DISTURBED BY STORIES OF NAZI ATROCITIES IN THE 40S, SHE SUFFERED A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN AND WAS INSTITUTIONALISED. AFTER THE WAR ZÜRN WENT INTO EXILE IN PARIS, TOGETHER WITH THE SURREALIST ARTIST, HANS BELLMER, AT WHICH TIME SHE PRODUCED THE MAJORITY OF HER DELICATELY-RENDERED INK DRAWINGS. ZÜRN‘S IMAGES OFTEN DEPICT CREATURES OF INDETERMINATE GENDER AND SPECIES, POISED AND GAZING DIRECTLY AT THE VIEWER. A SOLO EXHIBITION AT THE DRAWING CENTRE IN NEW YORK IN 2009 INSPIRED CRUCIAL REVISIONS OF ZÜRN‘S OEUVRE AND CHALLENGED REDUNDANT READINGS OF HER AS AN EXTENSION OF UBIQUITOUS FORMER PARTNER, HANS BELLMER. LAST YEAR, UNICA ZÜRN HAD HER FIRST SOLO MUSEUM SHOW AT THE MICHAEL CARLOS MUSEUM IN ATLANTA (2020).