Forgotten: Dora Tuynman and Anneliese Hager
Just like Lotti van der Gaag, Dora Tuynman (1926, Montpellier – 1979, Deventer) participated fully in the life at Rue Santeuil in Paris, where Appel, Constant and Bram Bogart also worked. Her early work in Paris was expressionistic in nature. From 1954 onwards her work became more daring. This development culminated in the 1960s in powerful abstract expressionist works. She was not a member of Cobra and this was never up for discussion. Her paintings, like the work of Cobra members, were described as experimental and were also regularly associated with Cobra. In the course of the 1950s and 1960s, Tuynman had several exhibitions in the Netherlands and in Paris. Gallery owner Iris Clert selected her work for the opening exhibition of her gallery, which soon became the ‘hotspot’ of the Parisian avant-garde – with artists such as Yves Klein and Tinguely. Despite the predominantly positive reactions that Tuynman’s work did receive since the 1950s, it sold poorly. At the end of 1962 she left Paris for good.
…Dora Tuynman increasingly suffered from depression and delusions. She kept telling her family that her monumental panels, wide pastel-waves of abstract leaves and calyxes, made for a church in Emmen, had been destroyed. Nobody believed her anymore. When the family visited the church in Emmen after her death in 1979 – she took her own life in Deventer – it turned out that the most important commission she had ever had, had indeed been taken to a landfill. Such unprecedented stupidity is a drama for every artist, let alone for ‘an elf’ who found little to hold on to in an unwelcoming world…
(Marianne Vermeijden in the NRC newspaper on 16 November 1991).