Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico
Marguerite Eva Sulzer (August 10, 1902 - May 14, 1990) was a photographer, musician, collector, and filmmaker who is most renowned for her photographs of pre-Columbian sights through central and North America, including Canada, Alaska, and Mexico. She also had a substantial collection of pre-Columbian artifacts and indigenous art pieces. She worked closely with the artist Wolfgang Paalen and other surrealist emigres in Mexico during the early 1940s. Paalen and Sulzer met at a Baltic resort in 1931, Sulzer then decided to return to Paris with Paalen and remained close for the remainder of Paalens life Although Paalen was married to the artist Alice Rahon, it has been stated that Rahon, Paalen, and Sulzer were involved in a polyamorous triad, which is highly representative of the open minded sensibilities of the Dyn circle.
Marguerite Eva Sulzer was born on 10 August 1902, in Winterthur, Zürich, Switzerland, the daughter of Carl Jakob Sulzer and Fanny Rosa Schmid.
Many of Sulzer's photographs were published in the DYN surrealist journal written and published by Wolfgang Paalen. Sulzer's intimate images and subtle focuses on feminine icons in pre-Columbian art ring a strong feminist undertone to her images and set her aside from her male contemporaries in Paris and New York. While mainly referred to in context of Paalen, Sulzer was an artist in her own right and continued to live and work in Mexico as a photographer and filmmaker until her death in 1990. As well as contributing to the artistic sensibilities of the Dyn surrealist circle, Sulzer also implemented archeological and anthropological aspects to her and her colleagues writings and works. Sulzer also contributed from her collection of pre-Columbian art to Miguel Covarrubias popular anthologies about Mexican anthropology. In 2012 an array of Sulzers photographs were displayed in an exhibition entitled “Farewell to surrealism: The Dyn circle in Mexico” as an homage to the Dyn circle journals debut publication; Bringing to light a seemingly under researched and unknown female artist of the 20th century. Much more research is still to be done on Sulzer as a singular entity working in the art world and mediums of photography, film, and music.
Cesar Moro, Eva Sulzer, Alice Rahon, Wolfgang Paalen
In 1939 Sulzer traveled with Paalen and his wife Alice Rahon to visit pre-Columbian sites in Northwest Canada, Alaska, and Mexico. Sulzer photographed these locations and artifacts, and a portion of this work, along with several articles that she authored, was published in Dyn, the dissident surrealist journal that Paalen edited and of which Sulzer was the primary financial backer. Items from her collection of pre-Columbian art, and some of her photographs, were also published in Miguel Covarrubias’s (Mexican, 1904–1957) popular anthologies about Mexican anthropology. Sulzer lived in Mexico from 1939 until her death, where she remained closely connected with the circle of émigré surrealists living there, including Remedios Varo (1908–1963) about whom she made a documentary film in 1966.
Paalen's last years in Mexico were characterized by increasing health problems, mainly originated in his bipolar (manic-depressive) disposition. With the help of his friends and patrons Eva Sulzer and Gordon Onslow Ford he acquired an old house with studio in the small town Tepoztlán in Morelos, where he mainly lived and worked during the last years of his life. Sulzer was Paalen's only heir and executor.
Eva Sulzer died on 14 May 1990, in Mexico, Mexico, at the age of 87.
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