Art History on the Fly II — Tamara de Lempicka
Rau Antiques places ads in the NY Times and I always notice them. I wrote about it here. In today’s June 21 NY Times, which is delivered every day to my door in Vancouver,BC ( I am writing this today) I especially noticed the ad. This time around I knew a bit (a tiny bit) of the painter featured. The reason for this is that in my last two trips to Buenos Aires I have been buying Piazzolla CDs to replace my aging records or simply to buy stuff I don’t have. Some of these in what is called Edición Piazzolla use lovely (to me paintings by Tamara de Lempicka who it seems was an aristocratic looking Polish artist very popular in the Hollywood of the 1930s.
My Wikipedia says this about her.
Tamara Łempicka, commonly known as Tamara de Lempicka (16 May 1898–18 March 1980) was a Polish Art Deco painter and “the first woman artist to be a glamour star”. Influenced by Cubism, Lempicka became the leading representative of the Art Deco style across two continents, a favorite artist of many Hollywood stars, referred to as ‘the baroness with a brush’. She was the most fashionable portrait painter of her generation among the haute bourgeoisie and aristocracy, painting duchesses and grand dukes and socialites. Through her network of friends, she was also able to display her paintings in the most elite salons of the era. Lempicka was criticized as well as admired for her ‘perverse Ingrism’, referring to her modern restatement of the master Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, as displayed in her work Group of Four Nudes (1925) among other studies.
I noticed a striking photograph of her taken by a photographer called Dora Kallmus in Paris in 1929. What particularly struck my eye was the last sentence of the above Wikipedia citation. I found the painting mentioned and it is reproduced here.
Since I do not have the standard art education (in fact I never had one) all I can say is that I love her images. I note that the Piazzola CD covers have an interesting interpretation of her paintings but in the back they have the full painting just as it is.
We have had enough of Frida Kahlo and it is time to do something with Tina Modotti. I believe that at my insistence Chilean born, Vancouver writer/playwright and actor Carmen Aguirre is working on a play about her. I wonder now if someone should not work on a play or film of Tamara de Lempicka as well as Man-Ray’s muse (and a terrific photographer in her own right) LeeMiller. And of course that leads me to a treatment of Margaret Bourke-White and…
Originally published at blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com.