Author(s): Gioia Mori
An aura of mystery has surrounded Tamara de Lempicka since she was born, not in Warsaw in 1902, as she claimed, but according to official records in 1898 in Moscow. The beautiful and scandalous Tamara was the extravagant muse of Art Deco, an icon of the roaring twenties, and a successful painter of intensely sensual portraits that were powerfully sculptural with Cubist lines, embellished with sophisticated decorative elements. Cool colours, cramped spaces and stark contrasts between light and shade surround the unforgettable faces of rich, elegant, emancipated, and theatrical women fixed in their existential melancholy. The catalogue includes a careful selection of unforgettable paintings and valuable historic photographs offering us a fascinating thematic reconstruction of the personal and professional aspects of Tamara's life, including the places she lived, her involvement in the sophisticated fashion world of the period, and her studies of the nude, as well as her still-lifes and portraits.
Published to accompany an exhibition at Palazzo Chiablese, Turin - March-August 2015.
Gioia Mori professor in art history at the Accademia di Venezia, and editor of Art e Dossier, one of the most authoritative Italian journals in the sector.
Contents: Tamara's worlds: from Russia to Mexico; Still life - a recurring theme in Lempicka's work, with echoes and references that range from 17th-century Flemish painting, to the rediscovery of trompe-l'oeil in the 1930s to1950s, and contemporary photography; Devotion - a constant theme in Lempicka's oeuvre is religious. It is identified and analysed in terms of the art of the period; Portraits - Paintings and drawings are analysed, and the initial classical sources pointed out, as well as how they relate tomodern photography and cinematography. A section is dedicated to the portraits of children; The nude - The study of the nude from mannerist sources to the photography of Albin-Guillot e Brassai; Fashion - Lempicka's close ties to the fashion world examined through her paintings, her experience as a photographic model, and her sophisticated wardrobe.