Suzanne Valadon, the queen of Belle poque | EUROtoday

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Edgar Degas known as her the Terrible Mara for her robust character and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec nicknamed her Suzanne on the age of 19, in reference to the biblical fable of Susanna and the previous individuals: You, who all the time pose bare for previous individuals, must be known as Suzanne. And so, the one born as Marie-Clmentine, queen of Montmartre and probably the most well-known, radical and free artist of the Belle as a result of she would go on to signal her work as Suzanne Valadon (1865-1938). Picasso, Braque and the principle painters of the second attended his funeral, however after his demise, the determine of Valadon fell into probably the most unfair of oblivion, regardless of leaving a rare legacy of some 500 canvases and 300 works. on paper.

The National Museum of Art of Catalonia (MNAC) now claims it within the beautiful exhibition Suzanne Valadon. A contemporary epic, the primary anthology devoted to him in Spain, in collaboration with the Pompidou. Because Valdon's is a full-fledged epic: that of a woman born in a humble household, with an unknown father, who labored as a florist, dishwasher, nanny, laundress, waitress and acrobat in a circus till she devoted herself to posing for avant-garde artists and portray some works herself. which, in lots of instances, exceeded these of the academics. A contemporary heroine whose work is totally modern, as if it have been a mixture (a priori not possible) between stylized class of Henri Matisse and the stark palette of Lucian Freud, which was anticipated by a number of a long time. Suzanne Valadon is healthier often called a mannequin than as an artist. Nobody knew that she drew whereas posing… In France she has just lately begun to be vindicated, says the Picasso professional Eduard Valls, head of collections on the MNAC and curator of the yr's exhibition in Barcelona, ​​which is seen like a stroll by means of the Bohemian Paris.

Suzanne Valadon in her studio with a portrait of Marie Coca, in 1927.

Suzanne Valadon in her studio with a portrait of Marie Coca, in 1927.FINEART IMAGES

The cautious scenography of the exhibition – we needed it to be immersive, however with out the digital half, Valls factors out – resurrects the ambiance of the cafes, the alleys of Montmartre, the air of a cabaret (little Marie-Clementine lived 100 meters from the Moulin Rouge ), the artist's workshop… In this Pars de la Belle as a result of the group of bohemian Catalans, headed by Ramon Casas, Santiago Rusiol and Miquel Utrillo, who, along with being a painter, was an engineer, artwork critic and collector. They all took Valadon as a mannequin (he was additionally certainly one of Renoir's muses, who immortalized her in a number of canvases). But with Utrillo he lived an intense sentimental relationship that was captured in a number of portraits. In the exhibition these crossed portraits are contrasted: a Utrillo in profile (made by Valadon) appears to watch the artist with a misplaced gaze and her hair tied up, drawn with a particular delicacy on his half. One of these many portraits is named The seven years conflict the time it took Utrillo to acknowledge his son Maurice and provides him his final title. Maurice Utrillo – whom Valadon gave beginning to on the age of 18 – would additionally turn into a distinguished painter, a colleague of Modiglianithough tortured by his alcoholic excesses.

If he lived a turbulent relationship with Utrillo Valadon, with the pianist Erik Satie it even went additional. After their breakup, Satie composed Vexations (Vejaciones), a fancy rating with a single motif that calls for to be performed 840 occasions in a row with out stopping. The first one who dared to interpret it was John Cage in 1949.

Valadon writes his novel-like life on his canvases, which fluctuate between post-impressionist sobriety, Gauguin-style fauvist brushstrokes and a voluptuous expressionism. The infected portrait of Satie, which is displayed subsequent to a piano and Vexationsprovides an thought of ​​the turbulence of his emotions.

In addition to his gallery of incisive portraits, if there’s one style that Valadon mastered, it was the nude. There he established himself and imposed himself on the opposite artists of the time. No one represented it like she did. I escaped from the stereotypical and masculine gaze, from eroticization, to color from naturalness and the organic truth of being a girl, explains Valls in entrance of a suggestive gallery of odalisques. Strangely, in her work, sensuality beats within the richness of materials and shawls, within the good colours of the flowers, within the leopard pores and skin on which the mannequin rests. But not in nudity.

'The room

'The Blue Room' (1923) by Suzanne Valadon.MNAC

She was the primary girl to color a unadorned man, says Valls earlier than his Adam and Eve (1909). But to be able to current the work on the Autumn Salon he needed to paint a Renaissance fig leaf over Adam's genitals (Eve's nudity was not an issue). That Adam was, in actuality, her new love: Andre Utter, a younger painter who was a buddy of her son Maurice, whom she ended up marrying. Utter was 23 years previous; Valadon, 45.

Valadon all the time went past conventions, each ethical and pictorial. His black venus (1919) was a revolution. and his magna The blue room (1923) a feminist manifesto earlier than the letter. In it she represents a contemporary Olympia, plump and mendacity on the mattress whereas smoking, with a disdainful look and a number of other books at her toes. An ode to the aesthetic and royal girl, to the free girl that she herself was.