Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Artist of the Week: Leonor Fini

Yes, there was  André Breton, Dali and di Chirico. But have you ever heard of Surrealist Leonor Fini?

August 30, 1908, Buenos Aires, Argentina - January 18, 1996, Paris, France) was an Argentine surrealist painter, graphic artist, costume and set designer and author

I want to share with you some snippets from various sources about the creative and accentric Leonor Fini.

  "In Paris she became a legend almost overnight. When one of the Surrealists saw a painting of hers in a Paris gallery in 1936 and sought out its creator, she arranged a rendezvous in a local cafe and arrived dressed in a cardinal's scarlet robes, which she had purchased in a clothing store specializing in clerical vestments. 'I liked the sacrilegious nature of dressing as a priest, and the experience of being a woman and wearing the clothes of a man who would never know a woman's body.' 

Like Da Vinci, she learned anatomy through the studying of corpses which she found in Trieste morgues.

Just like Dali, Fini rejected the Surrealists' offer to join their group. She saw the group's obsession with treatise and theories not as radical, but as a manifestation of  what Dali called "typical petit bourgeois mentality. Leonor Fini webpage 

Do ya think?  ;-)

(in her work-a-day get-up)    ;-)

For her, surrealism was beyond manifestos and theories. In the sexual realm, she found the group homophobic and misogynist despite its endeavors to idealize women and liberate sexual desire without the interference of morality.

Fini's extensive oeuvre has been an invaluable contribution to the development of a modern feminine consciousness, but her version differed somewhat from the other women surrealists.  In contrast with Remedios Varo's ideal woman, Fini's  was not cerebral, mystical or ironic but authoritarian, sensual,  and governed by passion. She portrays them in an almost Amazonian sense: as goddesses, warriors, and voluptuaries. 


 Click the above image for a larger version and a great sample of Leonor Fini's work at 
Ten Dreams Fine Art Galleries

Men are often portrayed as lithe figures who are under the protection of her females.

 The sphinx and cats play major parts in her paintings, as does the theme of 'the double'. She was equally adept at etching, drawing, watercolor and oil painting. Wikipedia


She lived with many cats; up to a total of 23 at one time. The illness of one of her cats could send her into a deep depression.

Elsa Schiaparelli's perfume "Shocking" 1937, 
the packaging, designed by Leonor Fini, was also notable for the bottle in the shape of a woman's torso inspired by Mae West's tailor's dummy.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Highlights From my Week-end in Boston - Part I

Boston skyline from Boston University campus

click once on images for best viewing size; twice for extra-large and detailed version

This weekend, I visited my daughter, 20 year-old SG2 at Boston University where she is a junior.  Here are some highlights from our trip, including some art from The Museum of Fine Arts. Enjoy.

Student art on a building front on Newbury Street

Newbury Street
Old building reflected in new building

I love the light in this shot.

SG2 and I dug this singer's Amelia Erhart head gear.  ;-)

(sunnier and more pleasant)

Entrance to The Museum of Fine Arts

SG2 enjoying some sun on the MFA lawn, while mama took pictures
My favorite work of art.  ;-)

A sculpture in front of the museum, that I've always liked
Appeal to the Great Spirit
Cyrus Edwin Dallin 

One of the museum wings

Some of our favorite art

Paul Signac
Antibes, The Pink Cloud

Van Gogh

Henri Matisse

Perhaps because I'd never really looked at it closely before, this Davis abstract was among my favorites.  SG2 thought it was "just okay".

Hot Still-Scape for Six Colors - 7th Ave.

Stuart Davis
American Modernist


The painting below, however, really impressed her

Joseph Stella

Old Brooklyn Bridge
c. 1940
American (Italian-born) 

Part II coming soon

All the love,
Pagan Sphinx

Monday, October 12, 2009

Artist of the Week: Faith Ringgold

 October 8 was the birthday of American painter, quilter and storyteller Faith Ringgold

photo by Grace Mathews

Coming to Jones Road


Tar Beach

The Sunflower's Quilting Bee at Arles

Anniversary 2007

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