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arts

Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-B  C-E  F-L  M-Z

     
Sekula, Sonja (1918-1963)  
 
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Despite the joy conveyed by these late paintings, Sekula experienced great mental anguish during 1963, the final year of her life. On April 25, she hanged herself in her studio in Zurich. As requested in her suicide note, she was buried in Saint Moritz.

Following her death, her work was virtually forgotten until 1971, when Finch College in Manhattan held a small but noteworthy exhibition of some of the most important paintings of her New York years.

Sponsor Message.

In 1996, the Kunstmuseum in Winterthur, Switzerland mounted a major exhibition, which covered the entire span of her career and included many previously unexhibited works, such as her late sketchbooks. Later in the same year, a smaller version of this exhibition was held at the Swiss Institute, New York. These shows demonstrated the richness and importance of Sekula's work.

Sekula is now regarded in her native Switizerland as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, although her work still is not widely known elsewhere. Irene Schweizer, a prominent Swiss pianist and composer, recently wrote a jazz symphony, Many and One Direction (2004), in tribute to Sekula.

Richard G. Mann

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arts >> Overview:  American Art: Lesbian, 1900-1969

American lesbian art in the earlier twentieth century was indelibly shaped by the expatriate experience and by the emergence of a more democratic art form, photography, as well as by the intense pressure following World War II to retreat into the closet.

social sciences >> Overview:  Aversion Therapy

A form of behavior modification that employs unpleasant and sometimes painful stimuli, aversion therapy was one of the more popular treatments for homosexuality and cross-dressing in the 1950s and 1960s.

arts >> Overview:  European Art: Twentieth Century

A large number of significant twentieth-century European artists focused on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender themes, making such concerns crucial to the understanding of twentieth-century European art.

arts >> Overview:  Native American Art

In North American Indian cultures, mixed-gender individuals were depicted in a variety of art forms and, in many tribes, were themselves among the most accomplished artists of their communities.

arts >> Overview:  Pop Art

An early 1960s school of painting and sculpture that utilized the subjects, techniques, or stylistic conventions of popular culture, Pop Art expressed a camp sensibility.

arts >> Overview:  Surrealism

An artistic movement that grew out of Dadaism and flourished in Europe shortly after World War I, Surrealism embraced the idea that art was an expression of the subconscious.

social sciences >> Overview:  Switzerland

Switzerland is a very cosmopolitan nation with a vibrant glbtq community, but it has lagged behind much of Europe, particularly the Nordic countries, when it comes to assuring equal rights.

arts >> Cage, John

The music of controversial American composer John Cage contains little autobiographical or gay content, but his ironic emphasis on the importance of silence in music may comment on the imposed silence of the closet.

arts >> Cunningham, Merce

One of the twentieth-century's most influential dancers and choreographers, Merce Cunningham avoided political statement and self-expression in his work, but his collaborative model may be said to represent a queering of the creative process.

arts >> Parsons, Betty

American artist and gallery owner Betty Parsons retreated into the closet after World War II, but her support of gay, lesbian, and bisexual artists during a time of repression and her later candor are important contributions to glbtq history.

arts >> Schwarzenbach, Annemarie

Swiss writer and photojournalist Annemarie Schwarzenbach documented social conditions from Afghanistan to Alabama; her fiction reflected the tormented attachments and recurring loneliness that plagued her short lifetime.


    Bibliography
   

D., H. "One Man Shows" New York Times (May 19, 1946): X-6.

Foote, Nancy. "Who was Sonia Sekula?" Art in America 59 (1971): 73-80.

Gibson, Ann. Abstract Expressionism: Other Politics. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.

Glueck, Grace. "A Golden Girl Escaping into Infinity." New York Times (September 20, 1996): C-26.

Hall, Lee. Betty Parsons: Artist, Dealer, Collector. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1991.

Langer, Cassandra. Review of Sonja Sekula, 1918-1963 by Dieter Schwarz and Roger Perret. Women Artists News Book Review 22 (1997): 23-24.

Preston, Stuart. "Chiefly Abstract." New York Times (April 8, 1951): 105.

Robinson, Walter. "Sonja Sekula, Abstract Expressionist, Lesbian, and Mad." Artnet.com Magazine (September 21, 1996): www.artnet.com/magazine_pre2000/features/robinson/robinson9-21-96.asp

Rosemont, Penelope, ed. Surrealist Women: An International Anthology. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1998.

Schwarz, Dieter, and Roger Perret. Sonja Sekula, 1918-1963. Winterthur: Kunstmuseum, 1996.

Vaughan, David. "Diaghilev/Cunningham." Art Journal 34. 2 (Winter 1974-75): 135-40.

 

    Citation Information
         
    Author: Mann, Richard G.  
    Entry Title: Sekula, Sonja  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
 
    Publication Date: 2005  
    Date Last Updated November 14, 2005  
    Web Address www.glbtq.com/arts/sekula_s.html  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
 
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2005, glbtq, inc.  
 

 

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