JANUARY 7 - FEBRUARY 13, 2016
We are pleased to present Twilight Before Dawn: Anna Zemánková, an exhibition that illuminates a rarely seen aspect of her work from the Zemánková family’s personal collection. They have kindly agreed to release these for this show for a limited amount of time.
Czech artist Anna Zemánková (1908 – 1986) is one of the great artists of the 20th century and is seen as one of the important female artists in the Art Brut pantheon, along with Jeanne Tripier, Madge Gill, Aloise Corbaz, and Emma Kunz. Her works were prominently displayed in the Encyclopedic Palace at the 2013 Venice Biennale curated by Massimiliano Gioni, at Frieze Masters that same year, and in many other important museum exhibitions. Her work is in the public collections of the Milwaukee Art Museum, WI; American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY; Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, NM; Collection de l’art Brut, Lausanne, Switzerland; Arnulf Rainer Museum, Baden, Austria; and private collections including abcd collection, Paris, and The Museum of Everything, London, as well as other important private collections of contemporary art. Cavin-Morris Gallery has been representing her work worldwide since 1992.
Her granddaughter, Terezie Zemánková writes:
Her obsession with details overruled her entirely after some time. The tiny ornaments began to occupy more and more space. Perhaps she found in the automatic repetition of the complex ornaments the peace she was longing for. In this time, when she mastered the technique of drawing so well that she reached the ability to perfectly express the intended image and was able to carry it as far as the frontier of the yearned for perfection, she created a series of minute drawings, which resemble images created by some spiritualist psychics. This similarity is slightly apparent in all phases of Zemánková’s creations. In spite of the fact that she wasn’t inclined to the practices of spiritualism, she talked about a force that “led her”, when she--her mind in a creative trance--sat at her drawing table at dawn.
In the late sixties and thereafter Zemánková began to introduce other materials to her works in order to stretch the parameters. She crocheted fantastically intricate textiles and satin strips into the drawings, conscious always of their otherworldly interplay between oceanic and terrestrial forms. She was constantly reinventing Nature’s most sensual aspects.
We are proud to expose this masterful work to the American audience for the first time.