Hans Bellmer and more dolls

Story by Jack Foley

SURREALISM and fashion collides in spectacular style at Pollock Fine Art gallery in Beak Street, London, with the arrival of a new exhibition entitled Hans Bellmer and More Dolls.

The event, which runs until June 1 and is in support of Crusaid, features the work of Hans Bellmer and his close circle of artists and friends from Belgium (Leo Dohmen and Paul Delvaux, for example), before taking in the work of other surrealists such as Marcel Duchamp and England's own first couple of surrealism, Pailthorpe and Mednikoff.

Spanning a period from 1938 through to 2002, the exhibition comes right up to date by profiling the work of contemporary surrealists such as Hans Breder and Alexei Hay (whose work, The Undesecrated, is pictured above).

American Hay is described as a photographer who uses the parameters of fashion photography to push the envelope of art. Bearded models, two headed models, and prosthetics are just a few of the devices utilised for recent issues of Dutch magazine. He has shot fashion for other magazines such as Dazed, Esquire, GQ, I-D and has put together campaigns for Gucci, Armani X and Mac. His first one-man show took place at Bronwyn Kenan in New York.

Further examples of his work - which ranges from the erotic to the popular (see Tim Roth's Planet of the Apes shoot) - can be viewed by clicking the right hand web link in the box above.

Of the other artists on show at Pollock Fine Art, Carlos Pazos is considered one of Spain's most important artists, bridging the late Franco period to the present. A hero in his native Catalonia, Pazos is a visual poet who, like Warhol, is considered a great connoisseur of popular culture. He is set to have a major retrospective of his work at the Rainer-Sophia Museum in Madrid.

German-born Hans Breder, meanwhile, moved to New York in 1965, where he exhibited minimalist sculpture. After accepting a teaching post at Iowa State, he began to produce an extraordinary collection of body sculptures, utilizing his students as nude models.

Through the simple device of cropping and reflecting sections of the body with mirror planes edges, Breder created 'amorphous uber-bodies' that, like Bellmer before him, seemed to 'unlock doors to the psyche'. His work is to be included at the upcoming Ana Mendeta retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Which brings us to Bellmer, the launch pad for the exhibition. According to the weblink we have provided (and which can be accessed by clicking the top left button in the box above), Hans Belmer (shown in this self portrait, right) made over a 100 photos of several dolls he made in the early 1930s, with the assistance of his brother and his sister in-law, in part as a protest against Germany's Nazi regime, and in part out of an expression of erotic feelings.

Opportunistic collectors are expected to arrive in force at Pollock Fine Art during the exhibition, armed with chequebooks, and 10% of all sales will go to Crusaid, the UK's national fundraising charity for HIV and AIDS.

Pollock Fine Art, 21 Beak Street, off Regent Street, London, W1. Tel: 020 7434 9947.
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 12pm to 7pm.

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