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Anna Zemánková

Press release


Anna Zemánková

Anna Zemánková (1908-1986) was a self-taught Czech artist. In the early 1960s, at the age of over fifty, she took up artistic practice for the first time when suffering from depression. It was in the early pre-dawn hours between four and seven o'clock, in silence and solitude, and before devoting herself to domestic duties, when she created her bizarre and mystical herbarium of flowers and plants on paper. Characteristic of her work is a combination of ink, pastel, perforations, and textile threads, creating a feverish and ominously beautiful botanical world of shapes.

Although it was difficult to exhibit in galleries when Czechoslovakia was under Soviet influence, Zemánková received some recognition for her art, which she displayed in private exhibitions. In 1987, a year after her death, the Serpentine Gallery in London showed her work in a group exhibition. Her work is represented in major collections such as the Collectie De Stadshof (Netherlands), Arnulf Rainer Museum (Austria), and Jean Dubuffet’s Collection de l'Art Brut in Lausanne (Switzerland).