Maar is known for her beautiful and surreal black-and-white photomontages, which often combine street photography with erotic fragments of the female body. This image of an armadillo fetus is exceptional in her oeuvre for its repellent qualities. Maar’s original title for the work was Portrait d’Ubu. At the first exhibition of Surrealist objects in Paris in 1936, the curators grouped the photograph with “interpretations of found objects.” Throughout her life, Maar neglected to explain the subject or title of the work. Its creation coincided with her participation in Parisian radical anti-fascist movements spearheaded by the writers Georges Bataille and André Breton.
Dora Maar (1907–1997) Père Ubu, 1936, gelatin silver print. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gilman Collection, Purchase, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, by Exchange, 2005; 2005.100.443. © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.