#4 PlantsPortfolio

Awakening
   sexuality

Nature morte à la plante grasse, 1952

Tamara Lempicka

Tamara de Lempicka (Warsaw 1898 – Cuernavaca, Mexico 1980) was a flamboyant Polish art deco artist, famous for her innovative art and tumultuous private life. She blazed the trail for female artists at the start of the 20th century, and used plants as a symbol of sensuality. She made her breakthrough at the Paris Exposition des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes in 1925. As a pioneering artist she led a tempestuous life and provided a new vision of the modern, self-confident woman.

delempicka.org

The Polish art deco diva Tamara de Lempicka had progressive, sexually liberating ideas. She was a female artist in a man’s world. Like Georgia O'Keefe’s metaphorical flower paintings of the period, De Lempicka used flowers as a symbol of the awakening sexuality of the femme fatale. Even her works featuring innocent plants as the central role ooze a mysterious sensuality_______.

Tamara Lempicka

Tamara de Lempicka (Warsaw 1898 – Cuernavaca, Mexico 1980) was a flamboyant Polish art deco artist, famous for her innovative art and tumultuous private life. She blazed the trail for female artists at the start of the 20th century, and used plants as a symbol of sensuality. She made her breakthrough at the Paris Exposition des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes in 1925. As a pioneering artist she led a tempestuous life and provided a new vision of the modern, self-confident woman.

delempicka.org

Nu au chapeau de paille, 1951

Cast of plants

Crassula
Ficus elastica
The Calla Lily
Mother-in-law’s tongue
Fuchsia

Plante grasse et fiole, 1941

Plante grasse et fiole, 1941

Rafaela sur fond vert, 1927

Arlette Boucard aux arums, 1931

‘A bouquet of Arum lilies suggests ‘The transition from innocence to the worldliness of femininity’_______.

Nature morte à la poupée russe, 1924

“My aim is never to copy but to create a new style_______.``

Jeune fille en vert, 1929

“My aim is never to copy but to create a new style_______.``

Le pot de Fuchsias, 1922

Text
Rosanne Loffeld

Photography
Tamara Lempieka

Rights
COPYRIGHT MARK © 2016 Tamara Art Heritage / MMI NYC

De Lempicka was born into a prosperous Polish family. Her father was a lawyer, her mother a well-known society lady. When Tamara was 12, her mother paid an established artist to paint a portrait of her daughter. Dissatisfied with the result and convinced that she could do better herself, the young De Lempicka started painting. In 1916 she married the lawyer Tadeusz Lempicka and moved with him to St. Petersburg. During the Russian Revolution they fled to Copenhagen. From there they travelled to Paris where Tamara found a studio and studied with Maurice Denis and André Lhote. During that period Tamara also gave birth to a daughter, although we're not sure where or when. Following her successful participation in the international Paris Exposition des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes in 1925 she became one of the most popular female artists of her time.

De Lempicka admired classical Renaissance painting, but very cleverly combined traditional portraits with advertising techniques, photographic lighting, metaphorical images - like her sensual plants - and colours, and metropolitan architecture. Hence her famous work Autoportrait (1925) was originally not a Bugatti but a Renault, and it was not green but yellow. Driven to make her own luck, she regularly cited her famous quote “Wonders don’t exist - there is only what you make.”
She revelled in her success, enjoying high society with the accompanying decadent lifestyle and passionate love affairs. Her art and her name are inextricably linked to the hedonistic lifestyle of the Roaring Twenties and the Art Deco movement. Unfortunately these intriguing events overshadow her considerable contribution to modern art. Hence this tribute to De Lempicka and her revealing plants_______.

Text
Rosanne Loffeld

Photography
Tamara Lempieka

Rights
COPYRIGHT MARK © 2016 Tamara Art Heritage / MMI NYC