Expat

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Color, Science & Music


"My work deals predominantly with physics."
Mildred Thompson

Six years before her death the African American artist Mildred Thompson told the Times Union/Jacksonville.com "I don't really consider anyplace home, I am truly a citizen of the world.”

From 1958 to 1986, except for a couple of years in New York and three years shared between Florida and Washington DC, Thompson lived and worked in Europe, predominately in Germany and Paris. The discrimination against her race and gender was her motivating force, especially that encountered during her two years in New York. 

As she says in her papers held by the Emory UniversityI sometimes feel that my relationship with this country [America] is like that of an old lover–‘on again, off again’… never ever being able to completely break with, hoping with each renewal that perhaps, this time, ‘we are going to make it–this time it will work.’”

After failing to obtain a Fulbright Scholarship at the end of her formal American training as a painter Thompson self funded her attendance at Hamburg’s Art Academy where she received a Reemtsma Stipendium at the end of her first year of study. 

After three years Thompson returned to New York and whilst both the Museum of Modern Art and the Brooklyn Museum brought her work the New York galleries were uninterested. She has said that one gallery owner told her “that it would be better if I had a white friend to take my work around, someone to pass as Mildred Thompson.”

Disillusioned she returned to Europe and came under the sway of the German Expressionists in general and Wassily Kandinsky in particular. Thompson’s study of physics along with her interest in music from jazz to Bach became major influences in her work. As she told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal’s Amber Irlbeck, The subject matter is taken from physics -- radiation and magnetic fields. Planets make sounds. It's random noise if you listen to it in that way, but if you listen to it in different way, there are beautiful sounds -- cosmic winds like lullabies being sung."  

A painter, printmaker, sculptor and musician, Thompson eventually settled in Atlanta in her 50’s where she, apart from exhibiting regularly both in America and Germany, taught art and art history at several colleges including the Atlanta College of Art. Thompson was also an associate editor for influential periodical Art Papers and a singer/guitarist for the Wedo Blues band.

The New York Times said in a 2005 review of her work "Ms. Thompson's paintings are made of brilliant color patches, which are almost pointillist in her 1990 canvas ''Magnetic Fields'' and less tightly woven in ''Atmospherics'' (2002). Her rhythmic marks lead the eye on a merry dance around the composition and suggest the manifestation of unseen forces for which she has found visual equivalents."

The exhibition Creating Matter: The Prints of Mildred Thompson is currently on show at Emory University’s Michael C Carlos Museum until the 17th May.




Monday, March 30, 2015

Blurring the Boundaries


“The piece of work is my body, my body is the piece of work.”
Helena Almeida

The conceptional Portuguese artist Helena Almeida considers the differences between photography and painting to be superficial as she explores the elements of space and line which are central to both. And although her works are documented by the photographic medium she considers them to be paintings. As she has said “I consider myself a painter. I studied painting and my works, as far as I’m concerned, are paintings. It’s my way of painting.”

Likewise, Almeida’s position about her works being self portraits is strained. She is the subject of her works but insists they are not self portraits but rather a study of the relationship between the artist and the image. As she states “We look at the body and see that it ends abruptly at the feet and hands... why do I end there and begin here? Why am I tied to this form, why am I isolated in this way?”

From dressing herself as a canvas and going for a walk or climbing through the slash in a stretched canvas to painting herself out of her photographs, these private performances have been documented by her husband over the last 40 years. Thus producing a body of work that begs the question are the photographs a documentation of the performance or are they object de arte?

To which Almeida responds “The image of my body is not an image. I’m not producing a spectacle. I’m making a painting.”

The Exhibition Helena Almeida: Inhabited drawings / Desenhos habitados is currently on show at London’s Richard Saltoun Gallery until the 22nd of May.


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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Observation Takes Many Forms

“Eclectic in his choice of mediums, he tried everything,
discovering his ‘Lackskin’ technique accidentally”
Art on Paper (2009)

The chore every painter faces at the end of their working day is the cleaning of their brushes. Using soap and cold water they return the tools of their trade back to a near pristine state reading them for the next session of work. And it must be cold water. The use of warm or hot water will caused the brush’s metal ferrule to expand allowing the bristles to fall out, a disaster for the artist who has spent the last month convincing themselves that the newly acquired $100 sable bush is not an indulgence.

It was whilst engaged in a variation of this ritual that the Swiss artist André Thomkins discovered his ‘Lackskin’ printing technique. A mono-print, that uses a water bath rather than a solid plate on which to create the transferable image.

It was whilst he was painting the crib for his newly arrived second son that he placed his brush in water and saw the paint detach itself from the brush and spread out over the liquids surface. Intrigued, he captured the design on paper and the ‘Lackskin’ technique was born.

As he explains “A drop, or string of thick gloss paint trickles onto the water, spreads and covers the surface. Forms that result can be constantly changed by interplay between artificial and natural forces. When you blow on the paint it drifts in the desired direction and dissolves into grey scales of photographic fineness that suggest a plastic presence. With drops or strings of paint then thrown or drawn onto the emerging painting you can change the landscape.”

The Swiss artist spent most of his life in Germany where he produced a body of work that along with his ‘Lackskins’ included painting, drawing and sculpture mostly in the dada and surrealist mode. Whilst Thomkins experiment within all his areas of endeavor it was his ‘Lackskins’ that captured the interest of the public and the critics alike. As Artforum said of their 2009 London exhibition “It’s as if one is experiencing a sequence of natural phenomena only to realize that some wizard is secretly controlling everything.”

The exhibition André Thomkins: Works 1946 – 1985 is currently on show at Zurich’s Hauser & Wirth Gallery until the 30th of May.

 


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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Experiments with Time & Light


“To make art is to experience a process.
Jiang Pengyi

The two major preoccupations for the Chinese photographic artist Jiang Pengyi are time and light with his current work concentrating on his experiments involving these two parameters within the confines of photographic medium. “As each and every second of the production process and millimeters in distance produces varying results, I am painting with light through photography,” he states in his current exhibition’s publicity.

What the end results of Pengyi’s experimental explorations will be is and open question even for the artist himself. As he told Time Out ShanghaiSuch moments are not created by me, and I don’t even know what they’ll look like in the very beginning when taking these pictures.

Pengyi came to prominence with works questioning the rapid urban development of China’s cities. From constructed miniature replicas of Chinese cities in abandoned buildings which he photographed to depictions of urban scenes where skyscrapers dominate like alien intruders Pengyi explored the result of the herding instinct. As he told City Weekend “While it looks like my works are all related to the city, I’m not actually that concerned about urban development. My works are reflection of what my heart says. I want to express how given a space, a desolate environment, if you put a city and district there, it will attract millions of people to this tight space.

Since then Pengyi has explored the nature of the photographic process. From capturing on photographic paper the emissions from fluorescent liquid wax to the traces left by Fireflies, from the effects of water freezing to an examination of the effects fluorescent paper has on photographer paper he has left the political behind in favor of the aesthetic.

As he has said, I want my feelings to guide me to do something, to calmly and peacefully create a work of art that’s not triggered or impacted by politics and money. When I make something, it’s an experience. I wish to make the process personal, slow.

Pengyi’s latest exhibition Intimacy is currently on show at Singapore’s ShanghART Gallery until the 17th of May.


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Friday, March 27, 2015

Abstracting Haiku


“I think we’re at this point now where we can play with paintings’ language.
Jason Stopa

Haiku in English is an adaptation of the formal Japanese poetic style of the same name whose major defining characteristic is the juxtaposition of two ideas, often contradictory, within its 17 syllables.  

The blogger Maria Calandra wrote about Jason Stopa on her blog Pencil in the Studio, stating “After spending more time with them, Stopa's paintings' unique relationship to language reveals itself, recalling Haiku poetry in particular. They have a similar directness of description, even in their abstraction that almost hovers above their subject matter.”

A child of the 1980’s and 90’s Stopa’s early years were spent in New Jersey. As he told the phinery blogMy mom is Black and my dad is White.  When they got married and had us kids in the late 70s/early 80s it was pretty controversial.  They both had rough roots and we were poor growing up.  I remember our block had a crack house and prostitutes on the corner.  The good ole days, lol.  But there were also these moments of hand clapping games, watching my sisters play double dutch and playing basketball till I overheated.  It wasn’t all bad.

Since graduating with a MFA from New York’s Pratt institute in 2010 Stopa has show his work in numerous group exhibitions and opened his fourth solo exhibition at the Hionas Gallery a couple of days ago. He also writes regularly for Art in America, The Brooklyn Rail and Whitewall Magazine as well as curating exhibitions. He is currently curating a group show for BOSI Contemporary on the Lower East Side, about which he says “Paramount to this exhibit is the artist’s capacity to employ simplicity of form and color to create images that are visually powerful.

But Stopa’s primary preoccupation is his painting. As he told Studio Critical, “As a painter, you always want to set up parameters that don't allow you to get bored.  One of the things I'm interested in is contradiction.  It seemed like the first half of the 20th century was about keeping metaphysics in painting - nothingness, mystery, sublime, existentialism etc.  Then the second half came along and threw it out.  I'm interested in creating an ambiguous space in a painting - shallow depth, physicality of texture and a touch and go sense of reality. This allows me to play, which is really what I want to do the most.”

Stopa’s current exhibition Double Trouble is on show at New York’s Hionas Gallery until the 25th of April.


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Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Cheerful Pessimist as Artist


“The quality of human effort is really intimidating.
Piotr Uklański


The Polish born, New York based artist Piotr Uklański has two shows running at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fatal Attraction: Piotr Uklański Photographs is a retrospective of his photography and Fatal Attraction: Piotr Uklański Selects from the Met Collection is his selection of works from the museum’s archive. For his “selects” exhibition he chose as a theme the juxtapositioning of life and death, or as he prefers to call it Eros and Thanatos. And on the gallery wall Uklański has written in Polish “Life is a terminal disease transmitted via sexual intercourse.”

As he told Artspace’s Karen Rosenberg, “Often, these thematic shows have quotes. I wanted to echo that. I like that quote a lot. I didn’t see it on the street but it’s in the Polish cultural discourse—it’s very famous—and it does come off the street. Everybody knows it. It’s a bit of a cliché, but I found it very fitting.”

Uklański grew up Warsaw and although born 23 years after the Second World War its shadow loomed large over his childhood. As he told Studio InternationalAs a child, I walked to school past buildings with walls still filled with holes from bullets and mortars. They had not been patched since they were privately owned and people didn’t have the money. When you’re seven, you’re used to it; you think its normal… I grew up with it, but it is more of a storytelling experience. It was removed but also present, but present as a legacy.

After obtaining his BFA in painting from Warsaw’s Academy of Fine Arts  Uklański secured a MFA in photography from New York’s Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. To these two disciplines he has added sculpture, film making, installation and performance to his repertoire. Whilst Uklański’s flashing disco floor at the Passerby bar introduced him to New York audiences it is his photography that has made the more lasting impression in the wider world.

In particular his 1998 work Untitled (The Nazis) depicting Hollywood actors dressed in WWII German Uniforms which attracted protests at its London opening and physical damage two years later at its Warsaw showing. About which Uklański has said “Everybody knows Nazis in Germany. I had a drink with a German artist who said if he had made this work they would have killed him but because I am Polish, I could. My point is more this. In that context, because Germans have such a long history of analyzing the Second World War, the reaction to my series was very measured, very civil. But in Poland, it wasn’t. So it depends on context and the debate of the moment, and both bring very different reactions. At the Jewish Museum in New York, it was also judged differently. Its context and what the viewer brings to the work that causes the scandal, the strong reaction, more than the work itself.

And what does Uklański bring to his work? He freely admits its “cheerful pessimism.”

Uklański’s two exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art are currently on show with Fatal Attraction: Piotr Uklański Selects from the Met Collection running through to the 14th of June and Fatal Attraction: Piotr Uklański Photographs on the walls until the 16th of August.


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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Moving on from Impressionism


“Drawing is feeling. Color is an act of reason.
Pierre Bonnard

In compliance with his father’s wishes the French artist Pierre Bonnard studied law at university and in 1889 became a lawyer. It was to be a short lived career move for in the same year Bonnard won a competition to design a poster for a French champagne company. With the proceeds from the competition Bonnard abandoned the law and set up a studio in Montmartre with several friends including the formidable post impressionist artist Henri Toulouse-Lautrec who he introduced to commercial poster production.  

Along with Maurice Denis and Édouard Vuillard these young artists supported themselves producing stage settings and costumes for the Théâtre d’Art, the Théâtre Libre and for the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre.

Seven years after his competition win Bonnard had his first solo exhibition at the gallery run by the impressionist collector and dealer Paul Durand-Ruel. Often referred to as a late impressionist and whilst being friends with both Monet and Renoir, Bonnard’s works differ in both intention and execution.

Bonnard was a studio painter working from memory using sketches and to a lesser extent photography as memory aides. His compositional points of view were often dramatic forcing the audience into the role of voyeur. But color was his predominant concern, as he has stated “It is still color; it is not yet light.

It is said that when Bonnard had mixed a color he particularly liked he would touch up other ‘finished’ paintings in his studio. And reportedly, he once had his friend Édouard Vuillard distract a museum security guard while he touched up a painting on display he had painted several years earlier.

In his critique of a 1947 retrospective exhibition of Bonnard’s work, the art critic Christian Zervos said "In Bonnard's work, Impressionism becomes insipid and falls into decline." To which the artist Henri Matisse responded "Yes! I maintain that Bonnard is a great artist for our time and, naturally, for posterity."

And as history would seem to have it the artist’s opinion is far more astute than that of the critic.

A current retrospective of his work Pierre Bonnard: Painting Arcadia is on show at Paris’ Musée d'Orsay until the 19th of July.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Sexual Activist & Her Photography


“I believe sex should be free, but it doesn't mean you can't accessorise.”
Samantha Roddick

In 2013 The European Union banned the sale of sale of cosmetic products and ingredients that have been tested on animals. It was a campaign started by the owner of the world wide chain of cosmetic stores The Body Shop, Anita Roddick in 1996. Whilst she didn’t live to see the culmination of her activism her daughter Samantha Roddick did. About the EU’s decision the younger Roddick told London’s Telegraph newspaper  “Everyone knows my mother as the 'queen of green’ and the doyenne of responsible business, but I believe she’s still underestimated as a pioneer who took political campaigning by business beyond the particular concerns of that business and mobilized her customers to fight for change on a bigger scale.”

The younger Roddick is an apple that didn’t fall far from that tree. Dropping out of school at 16 Roddick spent some time as an apprentice to the Russian Orthodox painter Mara Amats before her activist genes kicked in. For the next six years Roddick traveled the world espousing causes concerned with the deforestation of the Amazon and the rights of indigenous people. Along the way she also taught art in a Vancouver school and created the youth magazine Cockroach.

In the mid 1990’s, after reading the book A History of Whores Roddick embraced sexual politics and in the first year of the new century she opened Coco Der Mer, taking retail erotica from the back streets to the high street of London, New York and Los Angeles. Adopting the business principles of her mother Roddick’s sexual emporium had an ethical ethos that underpinned its operation. As she explained to the Guardian newspaper’s Hannah Pool “There is only one rule within sex, and that rule is simple: consent. Without it, you're talking about emotional torture and physical brutality.

In 2011 Roddick sold Coco Der Mer to the British sex toy retailer Lovehoney allowing her more time to concentrate on her activism. The latest incarnation of which is the photographic exhibition Hidden Within.

After the death of the Italian architect Carlo Mollino a treasure trove of over a thousand erotic Polaroid’s were found amongst his effects. Depicting female models in seductive and submissive poses they had been accessorized and directed to suit Mollino’s particular taste. As Roddick told How to Spend It’s, Nicole Swengley ““Mollino’s images are very sensual, but he objectified the women by controlling their poses… The poses are flattering to every body type, but also very unnatural, as if he was sculpting their bodies. And I feel this echoes our own society’s obsession with female perfectionism.”

Roddick recreated 12 of Mollino’s photographs and combined them with the religious iconography she learned during her apprenticeship with Mara Amats. As she explained “I wanted to get inside Mollino’s psychology because I feel his visual expression holds a mirror to our own cultural attitudes to sex.”

Hidden Within is on show at London’s Michael Hoppen Gallery until the 1st of May.


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Monday, March 23, 2015

And All That Jazz


“Reality in art is composed of shapes and colors.
Stuart Davis

According to jazz pianist and academic Ben Sidran, in the early years of the 20th Century “The musician articulated the news of the day in black America… The jazzman resolved the inequities of daily life, and did it nightly.” An enthusiastic member of their audience was the soon to become modernist artist Stuart Davis. Along with fellow members of the Ash Can school he would visit the Newark bars that played this music.

“These saloons catered to the poorest negroes,” Davis has recalled. “But the big point with us was that in all these places you could hear the blues, or tin-pan alley tunes turned into real music, for the cost of a five cent beer.”

About being a member of the Ash Can school Davis has said “it was the expression of ideas and emotions about the life of the time…the idea was to avoid mere factual statement and find ways to get down some of the qualities of memory and imagination involved in the perception of it.”
Davis was invited to hang five watercolors in the 1913 Armory Show and it was there that he discovered the work of the European Fauvists and Cubists in general and Gauguin and Matisse in particular. Whose work, he has said, gave him “the same kind of excitement I got from the numerical precision of the Negro piano players.”

After a year in Paris, Davis return to American and proceeded to give the European Synthetic Cubism an American voice. As Sidran wrote in his essay The Jazz of Stuart Davis, “just as [in jazz] a chord sequence from a standard song can be resolved in any number of ways and then reinserted into a future composition, so too Stuart Davis used the reduced essence of ordinary things - a schooner’s mast, an egg beater - over and over again in new ways. These then became the chord changes of his own compositions. Whilst the high key colors became his ‘tone’, the sound of his artistic voice, the planar surfaces became his harmonic structure, his compositional signature.”

A critique that is reinforced by Davis’ statement “For a number of years Jazz had a tremendous influence on my thoughts about art and life.

But to which he adds a caveat that alludes to his Ash Can beginnings “My attitude toward life is realistic. But realism doesn’t include merely what one immediately sees with the eye at any given moment. One also relates it to past experience. One relates it to feelings, ideas and what is real about that experience is the totality of the awareness of it. So I call it realism. By realism I don’t mean realism in any photographic sense.”


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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Blend In to Speak Volumes



“When I am standing still, I am not only making art
—that is the appearance—
I am actually struggling against my destiny.”
Liu Bolin

From the rattlesnake in the Arizona desert to the ever so humble green tree frog camouflage is a tactic employed in the animal kingdom to avoid becoming and assist in finding lunch. In our increasingly surveillance orientated world merging in with the background may well become an indispensable tactic for humanity to adopt. Although when this ability is put on display it can become a powerful public awareness raising tool as Chinese artist Liu Bolin has discovered.

Widely known as the Invisible Man, Bolin uses sculpture, performance, body painting and photography to create images where he disappears into the background of his chosen environment. Or as Bolin prefers to say “My intention was not to disappear in the environment but instead to let the environment take possession of me.”

What started as a lone public protest when the Chinese authorities reduced his studio to rubble has grown to comment about food safety, land seizures, and damage to the ecosystem amongst other issues. As he told The Standard last year, “Nine years ago, the government seized the land of the art district where I worked. My studio was torn down. To protest against the government, I created a camouflage artwork. I expressed my dissent and questions about land seizure by making myself invisible. At this time, I simply used my work as an outlet for anger. After I gradually calmed down, I was able to reflect upon contemporary Chinese society, and I tried to use this format to remind people about these problems around us.”

Since then Bolin has taken his show on the road creating works in Venice and New York. Venice was chosen because of its significance in Western art and its vulnerability to rising sea levels and New York for the potential conflict between humanity and its life style. 

Of particular concern for Bolin is consumerism. As he says “My works are not a variation of American pop art that praises light and colors. I express my questions and suspicions. For example, the food we consume is not safe: in my work “Supermarket,” I communicate my concerns with my audience. We really have no idea about which bottle of water is safe to drink and I can’t find one bottle of water that I will drink without being concerned.

Since then other cities have been added to Bolin's itinerary and while audiences practice their “Where’s Wally skills, for at times Bolin is well hidden, they unconsciously consume the concerns inherent in his chosen locations. And by standing still Bolin has captured the world’s attention with his works protecting his freedom of speech.

His current exhibition of photographs, sculptures & installations, Liu Bolin: Recent Works is on show at Paris’ Galerie Paris-Beijing until 2nd of May.



Saturday, March 21, 2015

When Is A Portrait Not A Portrait?


“The closer the painting is to a diagram or graph, the nearer it is to my intentions.”
Jack Smith

Is a person’s appearance a necessary constituent of portraiture or are there are other ways of evoking a human presence? This is the central question that surrounds British geometric abstract artist Jack Smith’s portraits currently on show at London’s National Portrait Gallery. As the gallery’s curator of 20th Century portraits, John Moorhouse, told London’s Telegraph newspaper “This display of Jack Smith’s abstract portraits is a first for the National Portrait Gallery as Smith’s paintings dispense with human appearance entirely.

Graduating from the Royal College of Art in the early 1950’s Smith was a social realist painter depicting the scenes of his working class background. He was included as a member of the “Kitchen Sink School” that commented upon the drab everyday life of British post war austerity. It was an association Smith rejected saying “This had nothing to do with social comment. If I lived in a palace I would have painted the chandeliers.”

Smith was more involved with the painterly concerns of light, form and pattern. This by the 1960’s had seen him abandon social realism in favor of abstraction. He painted sharply defined objects against a plain background, about which he has said “I like every work to establish a fact in the most precise, economical way.”

For the National Portrait Gallery display Smith’s portraits of composers Harrison Birtwistle and Colin Matthews, who met whilst designing stage settings for Ballet Rambert and the Royal Ballet respectively, have be included. “Their music is who they are, really... So I had to find forms and language that would tell me something about their music,” ArtLyst reports Smith as saying.

Meanwhile the National Portrait Gallery says in its exhibition notes “Portraiture is conventionally thought to be inseparable from the depiction of a sitter’s appearance.  The human face forms the basis of recognition and its expressions convey emotion.  But can portraiture evoke a human presence in other ways? Also, is a human being only a face, or are there other characteristics and areas of human experience that portraiture can address?

Along with the composers the exhibition includes Smith’s portrait of choreographer Ashley Page and a self portrait. All are on show until the 31st of August.


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Friday, March 20, 2015

The Queen of Art Deco


“There are no miracles; there is only what you make.”
Tamara de Lempicka

Described by the New York Times as the ‘steely-eyed goddess of the machine age’, Tamara de Lempicka took on the male dominated art world of Paris in the 1920’s and became one of its brightest stars.

Through an astute mixing of the renaissance art she had seen on trips to Italy in her youth with the up and coming Cubist and Fauvist styles Lempicka painted portraits of the glamorous Parisians of the day along with nudes based on classical themes. As she has said “I was the first woman to paint cleanly, and that was the basis of my success. From a hundred pictures, mine will always stand out. And so the galleries began to hang my work in their best rooms, always in the middle, because my painting was attractive. It was precise. It was 'finished.'

Painting in the then popular Art Deco style and with a life style that matched and at times surpassed that of her clients, Lempicka became as much of a celebrity as they were. As her daughter Kizette de Lempica-Foxhall wrote in her biography of her mother “She painted them all, the rich, the successful, the renowned -- the best. And with many she also slept. The work brought her critical acclaim, social celebrity and considerable wealth.”

Escaping the Russian revolution with her husband, who she rescued from the clutches of the Bolsheviks using her wit and charm, the Lempicka’s arrived penniless in Paris in 1917. He was unable to find work, so she built upon her childhood hobby of painting studying at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere. Lempicka started showing her work in Paris in 1923 and had her first solo exhibition in Italy in 1925.

Lempicka met her second husband, Baron Raoul Kuffner, at the end of the 1920’s when he commissioned her to paint his mistress’ portrait, which she did and replaced her as well. Four years later they married and then moved to American in 1939 to escape the looming Second World War.

The age of Art Deco was starting to wane and along with it Lempicka’s popularity. In the States she became something of a curiosity becoming known as the ‘Baroness with a brush.’ The rise of Abstract Expressionism after WWII saw both Art Deco and Lempicka reduced to an afterthought and although Lempicka tried her hand at the new style it was with little success.

The rediscovery of Art Deco in the 1970’s saw a return of interest in her work and an ongoing interest mostly by connoisseurs has continued but with nowhere near the luminosity of Lempicka’s decade between the wars.

A self titled retrospective of Lempicka’s work is currently on show at Turin’s Chiablese Palace until the 30th of August.