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Picasso, Dora Maar, il faisait tellement noir

Ouvrage collectif, catalogue d'exposition

The price recently paid for a painting by Picasso Portrait of Dora Maar with cat (95.2 million dollars at Sotheby’s on 3 May) obviously awakens one’s curiosity. Who was this muse, not necessarily the best known among the artist’s women? By sheer-and fortunate-coïncidence, the catalogue of a current exhibition Picasso-Dora Maar helps us clear things out. Dora Maar (her eral name being Henriette Markovitch, born in 1907 from a Croatian father and a French mother) was an artist in her own right. A photographer, she befriended and/or loved Man Ray, Georges Bataille, Georges Hugnet and Eluard before meeting Picasso. The fatal encounter occured in the fall of 1935, at the Deux Magots café. Olga, his first wife, was 28 years old, Picasso 54, he had just separated from her, and had a child from Marie Thérése. Dora is playing with a pointed knife which she sticks into the table between her fingers. Sometimes she missses and blood appears. Obviously the catalogue does not show these proverbial images but rather a turnaround between love and death: the passage from the last happy years(the sunlit summers in mougins -Picasso painting Dora, Dora photographing Picasso) towards the horror of the war (illustrated by a remarkable article written by Dora on the creation of Guernica). The break between the lovers reflects the brutality of those years. Picasso bought her a house in Ménerbes and left her some works of art, in particular the remarkable ensemble of torn paper sculptures. But they never saw each other again after 1946. Dora was shattered after their relation and survived half a century, until 1997, in the shadow of the genius. Picasso, Dora Maar, it was so dark, co-edited Flammarion/Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2006. 320 pages. 40€

Picasso, Dora Maar, il faisait tellement noir - Ouvrage collectif, catalogue d'exposition

Review published in the newsletter #3 - from 11 May 2006 to 17 May 2006

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