Paravent Metamorphosis of Woman By Leonor Fini
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  • Paravent Metamorphosis of Woman By Leonor Fini
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    Leonor Fini (Argentina 1907-1996 Paris) Four of eight serigraphs by world famous Surrealist painter, author, costume and set designer and graphic artist, Leonor Fini, shown here attached to a screen. These panels are available framed in ornate brushed gold, carved frames and may be viewed in New York at this time. The edition originally consisted of 135 sets, however, a number of pieces were damaged in a flood in a German museum, and only 120 sets survived. Each of the four pieces measures 60X18 inches - 66 X 24 inches, framed. One of the silkscreens comprising the set is signed. Number 50/120/ Printed in Germany by Dietz Offizin, the Paravent is perhaps Fini's most famous graphic work and is documented in numerous books on the artist. Leonor Fini was born and lived in Argentina as a young child until she was taken by her mother to Trieste, Italy. This “kidnapping” to flee her tyrannical Neapolitan father situated the child, often disguised as a boy, in the heart of a bohemian lifestyle. Self taught, Fini painted portraits and at age seventeen, moved to Paris. Her beauty is legendary with poems written about her and love letters to her by the preeminent poets and artists of the day. Fini, always fiercely independent, painted from her dreams and became associated with Andre Breton, Dali, Ernst, but never formally joined the Surrealist Movement. She was inspired by the Pre-raphaelites as well as by Klimt, Munch and Beardsley. She lived surrounded by pieces of Art Nouveau and Art Deco and at one point, surrounded by as many as twenty-two cats. Her residence remained in Paris, although she summered either in Corsica, where she took over a monastery or in St. Dye Sur Loire, in a home built with left over materials from the various chateaus of the region. Her first one-person exhibition took place at the Galerie Barbaroux in Milan in 1929 followed by a second exhibition in Paris, at the Galerie Bonjean in 1932. By 1936 she had caught the attention of Julian Levy who showed her work as well as Alfred H. Barr, who included three of her pieces in the ground breaking Dada and Surrealism Exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1936. She spent the summer of 1939 in St. Martin d’ Ardeche with her friends, among them – Max Ernst, Leonora Carrington as well as Salvador Dali. Although Fini is best known for her paintings of goddesses, felines and imaginary creatures – particularly the sphinx, involved in ritualistic worship, she was also a fine book illustrator, costume and scenery designer, decorative arts designer (having designed the perfume bottle for Elsa Schiaparelli’s “Shocking” in the shape of a female’s torso with flowers at the neck, providing the original illustration used on the Chateau Mouton Rothschild Reserve wine vintage of 1956 and costumes, décor and furniture for the Paris Opera and Ballet). Bibliography Alvarez, Jose. Le Livre de Leonor Fini – Peintures, Dessins, Ecrits, Notes de Leonor Fini. Paris: Editions Mermoud – Clairefontaine / Vilo, 1979. Brion, Marcel. Leonor Fini et Son Oeuvre. Paris: J.j Pauvert, 1955. Chadwick, Whitney. Women Artists and the Surrealist Movement. Boston: Little Brown, 1985. Chadwick, Whitney. Women, Art and Society. London. Thames and Hudson Ltd, 1994. Dedieu, Jean-claude. Leonor Fini. Paris: Frederic Birr, 1978. Guibbert, Jean-paul. Leonor Fini – Oeuvre Graphique. Lausanne: La Guilde du Livre et Clairefontaine, 1968. Guibbert, Jean-Paul. Leonor Fini. Lausanne: La Guilde du Livre et Clairefontaine, 1971. Jelinski, Constantin. Leonor Fini. Lausanne: La Guilde du Livre et Clairefontaine, 1968. Jelinski, Constantin. Leonor Fini Peinture. Lausanne: La Guilde du Livre et Clairefontaine, 1972. Waldberg, Patrick. Le Surrealisme. Paris: Skira, 1963.
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