“I am growing flowers that are not grown anywhere else”: the fantastical botanica of an Art Brut genius
The work of Czech painter, draftsman and pastel artist Anna Zemánková (1908–86) defies easy definition and categorization. As a self-taught artist, Zemánková tends to be described as Art Brut, but her Art Brut is of a mysterious and magical strain. Her work gives the viewer the impression of entering a herbarium of fantastical extraterrestrial plants or a unique, imaginary world, always created by the artist using newly discovered and often surprising techniques.
This extraordinary new publication presents a representative selection of Zemánková’s drawings, collages, objects and assemblages, accompanied by texts written by experts and researchers including Roger Cardinal, Eva Kotátková, Terezie Zemánková, Manuel Anceau, Pascale Jeanneret and Bruno Decharme. These are not staid scholarly essays; each contributor tries in their own way to understand the inherent mystery of Zemánková’s art. Readers are invited to join them on a journey through Zemánková’s visionary work.