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Sonja Sekula, Ethnique, 1961, gouache on paper, 20 1/8“ × 20 1/8”.

Sonja Sekula

Peter Blum Gallery

Sonja Sekula, Ethnique, 1961, gouache on paper, 20 1/8“ × 20 1/8”.

“Everyone from the fifties in New York has a Sonja Sekula story,” Brian O’Doherty wrote in 1971, “yet, though she contributed to period mythology, she herself has no myth.” “Sonja Sekula: A Survey,” the first New York solo exhibition of the artist’s work in more than twenty years, begins to construct one after decades of relative obscurity.

The daughter of a Hungarian philatelist and a Swiss confectionery heiress, Sekula was born into wealth and privilege in Lucerne, Switzerland, in 1918, moving to New York when she was eighteen. In the 1940s, she showed with Betty Parsons and Peggy Guggenheim and became involved with the circle of exiled Surrealists around André Breton, with whom she briefly shared an apartment on West Fifty-Sixth Street. Her friends included Roberto Matta, Marcel Duchamp, and Max Ernst, as well as abstract expressionists Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, and

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