Sonja Sekula & Friends

Sonja Sekula & Friends

One of Switzerland's most significant female artists in context with her New York artist friends.



Title Information

Edited by Kunstmuseum Luzern. With essays by Fanni Fetzer, Dominik Müller, and Griselda Pollock

1st edition

, 2016

Text English and German


160 pages, 98 color and 2 b/w illustrations

24 x 32.5 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-512-5


Sonja Sekula (1918–63) was born and educated in Lucerne, Switzerland, but emigrated to the United States with her parents in 1936. In 1941, she began studying art at the Arts Students League in New York and made the acquaintance of André Breton and his friends among the surrealists. Her automatic paintings and texts soon captured the interest of Peggy Guggenheim and Marcel Duchamp. In 1943, she was invited for the first time to show her work at Guggenheim’s Art of This Century Gallery, and throughout the late 1940s she was also featured in solo and group exhibitions at Betty Parsons Gallery. However, mental health problems dogged her throughout her life, and she returned to Switzerland for treatment in 1955, where she committed suicide in 1963.

This book provides a comprehensive overview of Sekula’s art in context of the work of her friends and fellow artists from the period. Richly illustrated, it offers a chance to rediscover an immensely talented artist who has been unjustly neglected.


Published in conjunction with the exhibition Sonja Sekula, Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock & Friends at Kunstmuseum Luzern (11 June to 25 September 2016).

Authors & Editors

Fanni Fetzer

, born 1974, is Director of Kunstmuseum Luzern.

Dominik Müller

, born 1981, is an art historian and Kunstmuseum Luzern's Exhibition Manager since 2015. Previously he wroked as a research assistant at Museum Tnguely in Basel.

Griselda Pollock

, born 1949, is a scholar of art history and Director of the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History (CentreCATH) in Leeds. She was founder of the Feminist Art History Collective in 1973.