Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

"Surrealismus in Paris" at Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Basel

by Suzanne on November 19th, 2011

La poupée by Hans Bellmer, painted wood, papier-mâché, mixed media, 1935/36, 61×170×51 cm, courtesy Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, photo © Collection Centre Pompidou/Vertrieb RMN/Georges Meguerditchian/ProLitteris - click to enlarge

I dislike the way big art metropoleis *cough* London *cough* always label their sell-out shows *cough* Leonardo da Vinci *cough* as "Shows of the Century" when - IF you can afford the outrageous admission prices at all - these shows are normally so totally overrun you really can't appreciate the art or are even given a specific time slot and need to get the hell out after 30 minutes. Trust me, I know. I actually went to the last "big da Vinci thing" in London a couple of years back but I can't even recall whether it was at the V&A, the Royal Academy or the British Museum. All I remember is that I COULDN'T SEE SHIT and people had the NERVE to bring their Dan Browns along. Jesus Christ.

Anyways, so thankfully, there's always the smaller, quieter places that put on masterpieces of curating in the middle of nowhere - pretty much overlooked by the international media.

Well, one such tremendous art historical chef-d'oeuvre of a show is currently taking place at the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen near Basel.

It's devoted to Surrealism in Paris and features some of the most outstanding works of the one art movement that will never ever die.

Amongst the usual suspects that I won't even bother mentioning here because the Beyeler is pretty notorious for its huge collection of surrealist art, you will meet the conjoined limbs of Hans Bellmer, the giant eyes of Paul Delvaux, the apocalyptic dreamscapes of Max Ernst and the sculptural synaesthesia of Méret Oppenheim.

Yes, I know right?! o_O

The exhibition looks also very stunning from an interior design point of view and a lot of effort, time.. and obviously money.. has been spent to contextualise and document the pieces. Definitely one to check out if you're in Switzerland.

Surrealismus in Paris runs until the end of January 2012. Details below.

Der Gegenpapst by Max Ernst, oil on canvas, 1941/42, 161x127 cm, courtesy Peggy Guggenheim Collection, photo © David Heald/The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation/ProLitteris - click to enlarge

On show: Oct 2, 2011 - Jan 29, 2012

Address: Fondation Beyeler, Baselstrasse 101, CH-4125 Riehen, Basel, Switzerland, tel: +41 - (0)61 - 645 97 00, email: info@fondationbeyeler.ch | Map

Hours: Mon - Sun: 10 AM - 6 PM

Admission: CHF 25.– (but special deals with public transport!)

Introduction | Preview | Press images

WurzelForum discussion

In memoriam Sibylle Ruppert, 1942 - 2011

by Suzanne on June 13th, 2011

La Décadence by Sibylle Ruppert, courtesy of HR Giger Museum - click to enlarge

As if it hasn't been a particularly sad month for the arts & humanities losing so many great thinkers and creators already, with Leonora Carrington, Jack Kevorkian and Jeffrey Catherine Jones leaving us, I just read about the passing of Sibylle Ruppert over on John Coulthart's Feuilleton and MonsterBrains.

I first came across Sibylle's work at HR Giger's castle/museum in Gruyères, Switzerland, and I was absolutely astonished by how her oeuvre brought together both a Bellmeresque laciness, a glossy surreal fetishism and the most steroid-induced masculinity I had ever seen outside of He-Man at that point. I was confused that I had never heard of her before because her absolutely otherworldly talent was so stricking, it just made no sense it hadn't been further discovered and exploited yet.

Flucht by Sibylle Ruppert, 1971, courtesy of Marco Witzig - click to enlarge

But maybe that's precisely what made her such an outstanding (artist's) artist - that she worked in relative obscurity and with obscurity - yet leading such a colourful and accomplished life as a ballerina, touring the world as a chorus girl, teaching art in mental institutions and drug rehabilitation centres - all the while being absolutely possessed by the daemon of art (... and the Marquis de Sade).

From her fascinating biography on HR's website:

"After the war they were taken in by an aristocratic family [who] owned a castle, and Sibylle spent her early childhood years as if in a dream world. Her father was a graphic designer and young Sibylle spent hours upon hours near his desk watching as he drew. One day she seized his hand and promised him that she would paint nice colourful pictures just like him. Her first drawing surprised everyone, it was a brutal illustration of a fist striking the middle of a face – she was 6 years old."

I am so very grateful I got to see your work face to face, Sibylle. Thank you for leaving your visions, your nightmares, your subconscious behind for us to inspect. You will be sorely missed.

You can find a gallery of her work here as well as on Feuilleton and MonsterBrains.

Kamm by Sibylle Ruppert, 1977, courtesy of Marco Witzig - click to enlarge

Hans Bellmer and Louise Bourgeois at Wexner Center, Columbus, Ohio

by Suzanne on March 23rd, 2011

© Hans Bellmer - via fantomatik75 - click to enlarge

Another old favourite that needs no further introduction as he's been featured in the hallowed WurzelEmpire® on both blog and forum since 2001 is the almighty Hans Bellmer.

Yeah, I know, it's fucking hip to like him these days and he probably has an upcoming spread in VICE mag and what the fuck not but hey, I liked him before you had even grown arms to mutilate dolls so SHADDAP and read this goddamn article already. GOODBYE. FOREVER. NO WAIT! (¬_¬)

A wisely curated and deeply inspiring Bellmer/Bourgeois double exhibition entitled Double Sexus: Hans Bellmer and Louise Bourgeois is opening at Wexner Center Galleries this Saturday.

From the press release:

"The exhibition, which was previously seen in Berlin, Germany, and The Hague, Netherlands, makes its U.S. debut at the Wexner Center. Its title comes from Sexus, a semi-autobiographical novel by Henry Miller, and its design strategically juxtaposes works by each artist in thematic sections. As you move through this layout, you will see sculptures and drawings by Bourgeois and sculptures, drawings, photographs, and a print by Bellmer."

© Hans Bellmer - via fantomatik75 - click to enlarge

All infos below.

On show: Mar 26 - Jul 31, 2011

Address: Wexner Center Galleries B and C, 1871 North, High Street, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus Ohio, 43210-1393 | Map & directions

Opening hours: Tue-Wed, Sun: 11 AM - 6 PM, Thu-Sat: 11 AM - 8 PM

Admission: $5 - free Thursdays from 4 to 8 PM and the first Sunday of the month.

Press release & preview

Catalogue: A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies this touring exhibition and is available in the Wexner Center Store.

In other great news...

• The amazingly generous and insanely talented Jeremy Enecio is doing a print giveaway that you can enter until March 29!

In a world made of strings we are designers of expression on Synaptic Stimuli deserves your attention for a few seconds as it's pretty kvlt to say the least:

by suzanne_tumblr on August 29th, 2010

The female body is like an endless sentence that invites us to rearrange it, so that its real meaning becomes clear through a series of endless anagrams.

Hans Bellmer

[via fette]

(via foxesinbreeches)

by suzanne_tumblr on January 14th, 2010



(via snowce)

Hans Bellmer

by suzanne_tumblr on December 13th, 2009


billyjane:Hans Bellmer ~Les crimes de l’amour,1961

I think I first saw this piece at the Whitechapel (yep, the show that got censored back in January 2007 and strangely enough doesn’t even appear on their website anymore… cowards!) and could never remember the title so my brain called it Boob Body Feet Hair which I think is a better title anyways.

Things That Are Scarier Than Clowns

by Suzanne on August 23rd, 2005


© Julie Blackmon - click image to enlarge

"It was worth all my obsessive efforts, when, amid the smell of glue and wet plaster, the essence of all that is impressive would take shape and become a real object to be possessed."

(Hans Bellmer's "Memories of the Doll Theme", 1934)


(by Shuko - click image to enlarge)


(by Hiro - click image to enlarge)


(by Hans Bellmer - click image to enlarge)


(by my very talented friend Rik Garrett)