Curiculum - data

1908 Anna is born on August 23 in the town of Staré Hodolany near Olomouc to the barber Antonín Veselý and his wife Adolfa. Her older sister Adolfa dies during childhood; she also has two younger brothers, Alois and Adolf.
1914 Anna attends primary school during World War I. She is raised in the Czech Brethren faith and is influenced by her father, a social democrat.
1924 Begins studying dentistry in Olomouc.
1931 After spending three years working in the dental practice of Dr. Dubový, she opens her own practice in Olomouc, which she operates until 1936. The practice is so successful that she can afford to finance the construction of a family home in Droždín.
1933 Marriage with First Lieutenant of the military supply corps Bohumír Zemánek (1904-1969). In the 1930s, she creates landscape paintings that have survived to this day.
1935 Birth of son Bohumír.
1936 Birth of son Slavomír.
1939 Death of son Bohumír. The family moves to Brno, where her husband becomes an official of the Pricing Commission.
1942 Birth of son Bohumil (died 1996).
1945 The family moves to Kroměříž, where B. Zemánek works at the regional supply corps of the reconstituted Czechoslovak army.
1948 Birth of daughter Anna. The family moves to Prague, where Major Zemánek has been called on to serve at the General Staff of the Czechoslovak Armed Forces.
1950s Period of mental instability, unhappiness and frustration.
1960 Anna’s sons Slavomír (at the time a medical student) and Bohumil (a future student of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts) discover their mother’s paintings in the attic and convince her to return to her artistic activities. Through this autotherapy, Anna rediscovers the meaning to life that she had lost as her children had grown up and her maternal role had weakened. Drawing and painting would be her main activity until the end of her life.
1960-63 First artistic period. Anna paints using tempera and gradually discovers pastels. She begins to draw during the “angels’ hour” just before sunrise, using generous physical gestures to give shape to her paintings, which she then further refines during the day.
1964 Anna holds her first exhibition, “Open House” at her flat in Buzuluská Street in Prague’s Dejvice neighborhood.
1963-66 She begins to include microstructures in her work, which she makes on her pastel drawings using pen and ink, which she later replaces with a ballpoint pen.
1966 First solo exhibition at Theatre on the Balustrades. This is followed by group exhibitions where she is included among other naïve artists (curator A. Pohribný).
1968 Vlastimil Venclík, a student at FAMU, shoots his graduate documentary film Man and Woman, half of which is dedicated to Anna Zemánková.
1969 Tragic death of Colonel Bohumír Zemánek. Anna’s work begins to include perforations, which she also applies in the lampshades she produces.
1971 Anna discovers the technique of creating stamped reliefs on handmade paper.
1973 She begins to create paintings and color drawings on starched satin, which she subsequently cuts out and pastes on paper. She decorates some of her pictures with embroidery, beads and sequins.
1977 Anna moves from her flat in Dejvice to Prague’s Nusle neighborhood. Due to her diabetes, her state of health deteriorates to the point that she can no longer go out on her own and she is dependent on the help of her children.
1979 The exhibition Outsiders at the Hayward Gallery in London, organized by Victor Musgrave and Roger Cardinal, launches Anna Zemánková’s international career.
1980 Several of Anna Zemánková’s works are purchased by the Collection de l’art brut in Lausanne, Switzerland.
1981 Anna Zemánková is represented at the São Paulo Art Biennial.
1982 Amputation of first leg.
1983 Amputation of second leg. Anna moves to a senior home in the town of Mníšek pod Brdy, where her son Slavomír works as a doctor. She continues to make art, primarily textile-based miniatures.
1986 Anna Zemánková dies on January 15.

 


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