OCTOBER 16 - NOVEMBER 22, 2008
It is with great pleasure that Cavin-Morris Gallery presents Visions Drawn Before Dawn: A Centennial Celebration of Anna Zemánková. In the 16 years we have represented the artist’s estate and been in the presence of her drawings, we have remained in awe of her reinvention, re-assimilation, and renewal of the natural forces that release Nature’s aesthetic in her work.
The layers of evocation in her drawings seem unending. She channeled great music, both classical and jazz, into her work, struggling with it to create a new way of thinking and engaging the world, allowing her to express love, wonder and Eros, and ultimately of using her art as a means to extend the reach of her life beyond the world of the mundane.
It must be understood that these ethereal gardens she drew are part of a fascinating phenomenon of self-shaping, in that she created for herself a new rite of passage, one that came after the more ordinary rites of work and family, and allowed her to celebrate herself as a maker, a creator of synaesthesia, where the senses of sight and touch perform midnight variations in a mix that is mythological, intellectual and reverberatingly sensual.
This group of newly released drawings is a cross-section of the four phases of Zemánková’s work as it changed over the years. First there were her bold gestural pastels followed by work with obsessive detailed patterning and unusual color combinations. It was with this second phase of her work that she began to sign her name to her drawings. In the third phase she combined elements from the first two periods and then embroidered and drew with pen on top of the work. In the last phase she collaged her drawings into simple and elegant forms, and began cutting and painting satin into collages.
Anna Zemánková’s drawings are in the collections of Le Musee d’art Brut, Lausanne, Switzerland; Collection abcd, Paris, France; Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, NM; American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY; and the Milwaukee Museum of Art, Milwaukee, WI.