Showing posts with label Unica Zürn. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Unica Zürn. Show all posts

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Friday, July 6, 2012

Dolorosa... new works... poems and anagrams for Unica Zürn... 2012


"On Harlot  Plexuses Fetich Beat" Pencil on black paper 10" x 8" July  2012


Detail from "Me Jot Fine Shaman" July 2012


Photo of full drawing "Me Jot Fine Shaman" pencil on black paper  12"x12" July 2012

Unica Zürn ... Happy Birthday...6 July 1916 Berlin - 19 October 1970 Paris...anagrams


Unica Zürn 1919


from an old copy of Sulfur Magazine no 29 1991 featuring a few Unica Zurn anagrams


I am yours, otherwise it escapes and
wipes us into death. Sing, burn
Sun, don’t die, sing, turn and
born, to turn and into Nothing is
never. The gone creates sense - or
not died have they and when
and when dead - they are not.

for Hans Bellmer.Berlin 1956

(Line from a poem by Henri Michaux)

Eyes, days, door, the old country.
Eagle eyes, a thousand days old.

Ermenonville 1957


After three ways in the rain image
when waking your counterimage: he,
the magician. Angels weave you in
the dragonbody. Rings in the way,
long in the rain I become yours.

Ermenonville 1959



ANAGRAMS are words and sentences resulting from the rearrangement of the letters in a given word or sentence. It is surprising that despite the re-awakened interest in the development of language in psychotics, psychics and children, little thought has been given to the anagrammatic interpretation of the coffee grounds of letters. - It is clear that we know very little of the birth and anatomy of the “image.” Man seems to know his language even less well than he knows his own body: the sentence too resembles a body which seems to invite us to decompose it, so that an infinite chain of anagrams may re-compose the truth it contains.

At close inspection the anagram is seen to arise from a violent and paradoxical dilemma. It demands the highest possible tension of the form-giving will and, simultaneously, the exclusion of premeditated purposeful shaping, because of the latter’s sterility. The result acknowledges - in a slightly uncanny manner - that it owes more to the help of some “other” than to one’s own consciousness. This sense of an alien responsibility and of one’s own technical limitations - only the given letters may be used and no others can be called upon for help - leads toward a hightened flair, an unrestrained and feverish readiness for discoveries, resulting in a kind of automatism. Chance seems to play a major role in the result, as if without it no language reality were true, for only at the end, after the fact, does it - surprisingly - become clear that this result was necessary, that no other was possible. Writing one anagram each day of the year would leave one with an accurate poetic weather report concerning one’s self at the end of that year.

What is at stake here is a totally new unity of form, meaning and feeling: language-images that cannot simply be thought up or written up. They enter suddenly and for real into their interconnections, radiating multiple meanings, meandering loops lassoing neighboring sense and sound. They constitute new, multifacetted objects, resembling polyplanes made of mirrors. “Beil” (hatchet) becomes “Lieb’” (Love) and “Leib” (body), when the hurried stonehand glides over it; the wonder of it lifts us up and rides away with us on its broomstick. The process remains enigmatic. For this kind of imaging and composing to happen, no doubt an eager hobgoblin - oracularly, sometimes spectacularly - adds much of its own behind the back of the I. A pleasantly disrespectful spririt, in all probability, who is serious only about singing the praises of the improbable, of error and of chance. As if the illogical was relaxation, as if laughter was permitted while thinking, as if error was a way and chance a proof of eternity.

Translated by Pierre Joris



from my visit to Unica's Grave Paris, Pere Lachaise Cemetery, February 16th 2008.


Publications by Verlag Brinkman & Bose 1998 and 2009


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Cabinet of the Solar Plexus...New Work & freebies...

Dear Visitors,
To mark the occassion of 500,000 hits on the blog today, i will be giving away a print of my new works and a book by Unica Zurn who was the inspiration for the name of this blog. Many thanks to all the muses, those who visit and to the many with messages of support which keep me inspired! it is very much appreciated!
In Love and Light

Names will be picked out of a magick hat! ;) send e-mails with name to me at

 click on image to enlarge

Untitled Watercolour 2011~ Dolorosa a limited edition of 4, A5 size with 1 inch border printed on Hahnemühle FineArt paper


Unica Zürn’s “Dark Spring” is a haunting story about the debilitating confusion a twelve year old can experience when confronted with gender awareness, sexuality and abuse. This particular work is semi-autobiographical and eerily foreshadows the writer’s own suicide by defenestration. A German Surrealist, Zürn was a writer, an artist, and the prototype for Hans Bellmer’s infamous poupée. Although Zürn’s ink drawings are some of the most striking images to evoke the nightmarish figures of a disturbed mind, her writings are even more telling in their descriptions of the mind’s inner workings and how it fares when imprisoned by its own hallucinations. Institutionalized several times throughout her life, Zürn’s work is replete with reflections on mental illness. Even within a state of clinical madness, she is capable of writing about madness as though it were something she were observing, empathizing with it rather than being subjected to it. Zürn reassures her reader she is aware of her craziness, her delusional fabrications, and that she knows there is beauty in this unique state of being. Everything is treated with the same weight, from hallucinations to concrete reality; they are all authentic experiences in the eyes of Zürn.

With the androgynous mind of Coleridge, the incandescent and resonant voice of Woolf, the asexual beauty of a Steiglitz portrait of Georgia O’Keefe, Zürn is the artist who embodies elements of the Two made into One. Layered and multifaceted with androgynous motifs, Zürn’s work speaks with a voice more outspoken and sublime than one may realize at first glance. She annihilates and amalgamates states of being, each treated with as much authenticity as the next; experience seen through the eyes of the many faces of Unica is both feminine and masculine.

from a very good review HERE

Unica Zürn... drawing...c1960s


click on image to enlarge 

previous Zürn

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Unica Zürn... Happy Birthday! ...painting...

click on image to enlarge

Tempera on board 1957

"If only nobody would block my view. This was what bothered me the most.
My new viewpoint was of great importance to me. I would defend it
against all comers, however weary I might be" UZ

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Unica Zürn... drawing...


she opens out, forming a shining star 
made of countless new arms and legs 
and necks and heads, 
she becomes a beautiful, flower-like monstrosity....  

from the Man of Jasmine -Unica Zürn

*with  thanks to Wladd Muta

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Unica Zürn... drawing...


Unica Zürn - En Permission 1962

scan from Unica Zürn Bilder 1953-1970 Verlag Brinkmann und Bose Berlin 1998

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Unica Zürn... Portrait of Hans Bellmer 1965


The staging of gesture, in a processus of transformation and metamorphosis, the patient weaving of memories, through "chinks in line": Unica Zurn has probably succeeded in her project of BEING. All the while waiting for her "magical encounter" - with the white-hair man, with Death?
" When i was a child i dreamt/ about the marriage with a white-hair man paralysed./ tied to a wheel chair forever.../ Behind us, eternal./ blossomed the Jasmine/ And this is the meaning of my legend/ of life together.../ Since my chilhood wedding, in a white dress-/ I feel that I gradually become white.../ To swim into the White, to perceive finally/ the White Image?"

 from an essay by Barbara Safarova "The magical encounter between writing and image"