HANS BELLMER Les Mariés (Bride and Groom) 1941
his 1941 gouache was used as the basis for a colored engraving (30.5 x 23.5 cm) that was printed in an edition of 200 copies, 10 of them on Japan Pearl, 1968, Galerie A.F. Petit. It was reproduced on page 90 of Hans Bellmer, Engraved Works, Paris, Denoël, 1969, with a preface by André-Pierre Mandiargues. Along with eight other gouaches – including L’Enfer, Les deux amies, Entre deux eaux, and Trois filles et la mort – Les Mariés was used in 1948 to illustrate an edition of Charles Baudelaire’s Les Paradis artificiels.
The German-born Surrealist Hans Bellmer (1902-1975), well known for his life-size pubescent dolls, devoted his artistic career to creating sexualized images of the female body, often distorted, dismembered, or fragmented. He also created a vast number of drawings in which he explored the fetishized female form. His works were heavily influenced by psychoanalytic theories popular at the time, such as Freud’s. “The precise sobriety that informs Bellmer’s drawings suggests a cool and controlled obsession (…) He was a precise, orderly man whose temperament (and talent) led him to constructivism. The dolls reveal his gift for constructive design – he reshaped the design of the human body – and many of his drawings constitute the discrete basis of an undefined sexual event, as if sexuality could be captured on a drawing board.” (M. Semff and A. Spira, Hans Bellmer, Munich, 2006, p.24).
Factsheet on page 14