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Tamara de Lempicka

An exhibition of her work opened in London shortly after I left. Twenty three years in London and I missed this by just two months.




  1. RAB says:

    Well if it wasn’t for the hassle of travelling to and staying in, London,
    I’d go. I like her stuff.

    The critics hate her though…

    Shallow, cliched pretentious etc etc. Yeah well fuck em!
    I dont need their sanction to like something.

    Beryl Cook died this week.
    Another artist that the critics loathed.
    For those of you who are unfamiliar with her work
    She was a Plymouth Boarding House Landlady who took up painting in her fifties.

    Her paintings are mainly of fat birds having a bloody good time, be it at the bowling green or the pub on a Hen night.

    Quintessantly British, big bright and crudely executed, almost Mc Gill cartoonish, but beautiful in their joyous celebration of ordinary life.

    She lived in Bristol for a while and I used to talk to her in the pub now and again.
    Lovely lady! Very shy except when in a pub with a drink and a fag in her hand.
    Then she was in her element!
    Thinking about it, I may well have been the Smoking Ban that killed her!
    That would have taken much of the joy out of a sweet old ladies life.

  2. Alisa says:

    I wasn’t familiar with her work, so I looked it up (ending up at the same site Cats linked to), and I have to agree with critics, RAB.

    For her, Picasso “embodied the novelty of destruction”.[1] She thought that many of the Impressionists drew badly and employed “dirty” colours. De Lempicka technique would be novel, clean, precise, and elegant.

    And utterly lifeless.

  3. RAB says:

    Well at least she can paint and draw
    She may have been right about the impressionists.

    No I dont take her seriously (I take very few artists or anything else seriously)
    She was a product of the 20s.
    The time of relief and frivolity and there was still such a thing as High society.
    She catalogued that time.

    Given that art, however serious is often used as mere decoration

    if I had the choice of one of her portraits and one of Lucien Freuds, then I’d take hers.

    I prefere a bit of frigid fantasy anyday
    over a picture of someone who looks like they have been dragged around behind Ben Hurs chariot for half an hour ;-)

  4. Alisa says:

    The time of relief and frivolity and there was still such a thing as High society.

    But that was my point, that there is no relief or frivolity in her work. If that is what the 20ies were like, I am glad I wasn’t there – but I hope they were not. You do have a point about Freud:-)

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