Anton Prinner "I'm a non-existentialist. I'm not myself: I'm everybody."
June 7, 2019 9:39 AM   Subscribe

From the darkness, it reared its head. An aquiline nose, about a foot in length, jutted forth from the androgynous sculpture like only a Picasso can – yet, a Picasso it was not. The startling work was made by Anton Prinner, yet another of the art world’s more overlooked sensations. To the public, he was a mystery. To Picasso, he was “Monsieur Madame,” because Prinner — née Anna Prinner – only adopted a male identity when he moved from his native Budapest to Paris in the 1920s. It was there, in the heat of the Left Bank in the roaring ’20s, that he used art to bring his journey with gender identity into a more public sphere. Then, just as swiftly as he burst on the scene, he disappeared. Anton Prinner is the Genderqueer Picasso We Need in the 21st Century (Messy Nessy Chic) posted by filthy light thief (7 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Comparing Prinner to Picasso seems weird to me; they have a really different aesthetic feel. If anything, his work reminds me a bit of Modigliani — the somewhat distorted human form, although always on the same axis.

I’m a bit disappointed that a couple of the bios were kind of “we can’t know he was trans,” because, if you demand absolute proof, most trans people fall out of the historical record entirely.

OK, carping aside, this was a lovely find; thanks for the introduction!
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:41 PM on June 7 [3 favorites]

I think the Picasso reference is an easy hook, a bit of short-hand to say "surreal-type French artist from the 1920s", and also a way to stress that Prinner didn't exhibit the overt, toxic masculinity of Picasso.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:55 PM on June 7 [5 favorites]

Those are stunning statues. I was studying sculpture in high school and had a strong interest in the primitivism of this period - I'm very sorry I didn't know about Prinner then, I would have likely done my big project on him.

(But sadly, that was pre-internet - I likely would have struggled for sources).
posted by jb at 1:11 PM on June 7

I strongly object to the framing of "This person is genderqueer. This is a very modern framing, and is "speaking for the dead". Rude. And I say this as someone who *is* genderqueer.
posted by liminal_shadows at 2:33 PM on June 7 [3 favorites]

Oh my, I have never heard of him, and I absolutely LOVE those statues, such a weird and effective take on Egyptian statuary. These are haunting. Thank you for this post!
posted by biscotti at 4:11 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]

Thank you for sharing this. I'm loving his work.

Oddly, searching on Amz for Anton Prinner, Amz decides I must have mistyped and shows me Canon Printers instead. Welcome to the technodystopia Mr. Buttle.
posted by kokaku at 5:39 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]

I also liked the variety of his output. The Large Column is really different than the “Egyptian” pictures. There’s a lot there; I wish he was better known, and that his career had been more successful.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:11 AM on June 8

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