Anna Zemánková

Czech Republic, 1908 - 1986

From an early age, Anna Zemánková showed a deep love for drawing, but her father refused to allow her to develop her gift. Anna became a dental technician instead. She married an army officer in 1933, giving up work and becoming a housewife. The couple had two sons, the elder of whom died in 1939, as did a daughter several years later. The family moved to Prague after World War II. Anna fell prey to depression in 1950, and her legs were amputated following complications arising from diabetes. She was over fifty years old when she began painting every day. She worked from four to seven in the morning, when she felt she could capture magnetic forces, producing spontaneous depictions of imaginary plants. She had no idea what form the final work would take when she began. Her strikingly detailed artworks share a unique rhythm of spirals, arabesques and geometrical shapes, making Anna a major figure in the history of art brut.