The Hamburg Kunsthalle in the Gallery of Modern Art presents the first large monographic exhibition "TOYEN".
The museum halls show more than 120 paintings as well as drawings, collages and archival materials, exploring the creative and personal career of Maria Cherminova (1902-1980), who chose her pseudonym, derived from the French "Citoyen" (citizen). The artist's paintings have been provided by the Stockholm Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, the Musée d'art et d'histoire de Saint-Denis, the National Gallery in Prague, the City and Prague Art and Craft Museum, as well as many European museums and private collections.
TOYEN is unique among women who worked in the Surrealist style. Here she was a pioneer as well as the most brilliant and influential Czech artist of the 20th century. In the early 1920s, Cerminova was already occupying a crucial place in Czech avant-garde art. While working in Paris, she anticipated new methods of informal painting in the 1950s through her technical experiments. By advocating ideas of rebellion, dreams, eroticism and poetry, TOYEN's style approached Surrealism; in 1934 she became one of the founders of the Surrealist group in the former Czechoslovakia. A personal meeting with André Breton, who would call her "mon amie entre les femmes", as well as with other leading surrealists in Paris in 1935, such as Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, Benjamin Peret, Salvador Dali, Man Ray and others, strengthened TOYEN on her creative path and established her lifelong attachment to the group. Maria Cerminova enriched surrealism with radical and innovative artistic solutions, motifs and techniques.