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10 March 2020

Ida Applebroog's Mercy Hospital at the Freud Museum

Ida Applebroog's Mercy Hospital at the Freud Museum Ida Applebroog: ‘Mercy Hospital' (1969). © Ida Applebroog/Courtesy Hauser & Wirth.

Ida Applebroog: Mercy Hospital is the latest exhibition at the Freud Museum, London. A pioneering feminist, the American artist Ida Applebroog (b.1929) has spent the past five decades conducting a sustained inquiry into the polemics of human relations. Her abstracted human forms with bold outlines are instantly recognisable.

The clue to the curatorial connection between these particular drawings and the venue is in the story of how Applebroog came to make them. The works were rediscovered only in 2009, when one of her assistants found a box labelled ‘Mercy Hospital’, long forgotten by the artist. They dated from a time in 1969-70 when Applebroog had been struggling with her mental health and had admitted herself to the Mercy Hospital in San Diego for six weeks; while there, she created more than a hundred drawings in sketchbooks using ink, pencil, watercolour and pastel.

The exhibition is supported by Hauser & Wirth and continues until 7 June 2020.