Anna Zemánková (23 August 1908 – 15 January 1986) was a self-taught Czech painter, draftswoman and pastel artist. Her work was featured in a group show at London’s Hayward Gallery in 1979, and eighteen of her pieces were shown at the Venice Biennale in 2013.
Zemánková enjoyed drawing as a girl. She for a time had a career as a dental technician. She married army officer Bohumir Zemanek in 1933. In 1948, she moved to Prague with her husband, where she became a housewife and cared for their natural and adopted children. Suffering from an unhappy marriage, a lack of direction once her children were grown, and the long-term effects of the death of her first-born son in 1939, Zemánková endured long periods of depression throughout the 1950s.
To combat her depression, Zemánková's second son, Bohumil Zemánek, a sculptor, suggested she try drawing. At the age of fifty-two, she started creating "swirling, luminous drawings" which evolved into a "repertoire of abstracted floral and insectlike forms set against flat, softly atmospheric backgrounds." Although some have argued she was in some sort of trance state as she worked in the early morning hours, Zemánková herself spoke only of an unpremeditated process: "There was no need to reflect or erase--the drawing drew itself in a very delightful manner."
Later in life, both of Zemánková's legs had to be amputated due to complications from diabetes.
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- Borum, Janifer P. (December 1999). "Anna Zemankova". Artforum International: 150 – via Gale Academic OneFile.
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Cavin-Morris Gallery. Selected Anna Zemánková paintings and CV.