ABOUT Tamara De Lempicka
(aka Maria Gorska) [b. May 16, 1898 – d. March 18, 1980]
“The play of light carves a fine line of beauty reaching inside – shining out.” –pj
“When someone mentions the Roaring Twenties, it conjures up the Jazz Age, flappers, Prohibition, the Charleston, gangsters, The Great Gatsby, Mary Pickford, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Designers and architects also remember the 20’s for the Chrysler Building, the luxury liner Normandie, and the interior of Radio City Music Hall, all outstanding examples of the decorative arts style called Art Deco.
To many designers of jewelry, furniture, clothes, fabrics, and ceramics, Art Deco of the 20’s with its geometric motifs and bright, bold colors represents the best and purest forms of that decorative art period.
Art Deco, a classical, symmetrical, rectilinear style that reached its high point between 1925-1935, drew its inspiration from such serious art movements as Cubism, Futurism, and the influence of the Bauhaus. In Paris, it was a dominant art form of the 1920-1930 period.
Of all the artists pursuing the style “Arts Decoratifs”, one of the most memorable was Tamara De Lempicka. ” –CM
“Born in Warsaw in 1898, Tamara de Lempicka is one of the most well known artists of the Deco era. She emigrated to Russia and in 1916 married an attorney, Tadeusz Lempicka in St. Petersburg at the age of sixteen. In 1917, during the Russian revolution Tadeusz was arrested by the Bolsheviks but managed to get released with Tamara’s aide, immediately the couple fled to Paris.
In Paris Tamara took up painting, enrolling at the Academie de la Grand Chaumiere. She proved to be a prolific painter, primarily portraits, as a result of her simple style. Also in Paris she divorced her attorney husband, marrying Baron Raoul Kaffner in 1933. Raoul and Tamara moved to America the same year under the treat of World War II, traveling to Hollywood and New York, eventually settling in Mexico. While in the States her paintings were exhibited in several galleries including The Paul Reinhart Gallery, Julian Levy’s, Milwaukee Institute of Art & the Courvoisier Galleries.
Her personal style in her painting with a distinctly characteristic and bold design quickly matured. Her style has been termed “soft cubism” or “synthetic cubism” and typified the composed yet sultry side of the then fashionable Art Deco movement In Tamara’s opinion, Picasso “embodied the novelty of destruction”. She believed that several of the Impressionists drew poorly and applied “dirty” colors. She decided that the de Lempicka method would be fresh, clear, accurate, and above all elegant.
In her later years the volume of Tamara’s work was decreasing and by 1960 she had changed to abstract, applying her paints with a spatula. Raoul died in 1962, by which time Tamara had fairly stopped her work all together. Tamara died in Mexico in 1980 in her sleep.” — sd