Thursday, 28 March 2013

The 31 Women Number six ,Valentine Hugo, March 26 is her birthday

Valentine Hugo  26 March 1897-1968                                 
Valentine Hugo was a French artist, theatre and costume designer, author, illustrator and radio broadcaster. She is still sometimes remembered in France and is not as forgotten elsewhere as some of the other 31 women, though where Valentine is mentioned she is usually tagged on at the end of a list of surrealist artists, all men. She painted portraits of a number of them; her best known painting is probably her 1934 portrait of Picasso, staring with dark intensity from between the horns of a symbolic bull.
She was born Valentine Marie Augustine Gross in the seaside town of Boulogne and died 1968 in Paris. Her mother was Zèlie Dèmelin Gross and father Auguste Gross, who was a musician and as a child Valentine developed a love for music and theatre as well as art. She studied art and her first claim to fame was in 1913 when an exhibition of her ballet drawings adorned the foyer of the of the Champs-Elysèes Theatre on the opening night of The Rite of Spring, Stravinsky’s hugely controversial ballet.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

The 31 Women number Five, Eyre de Lanux. March 20 is her birthday.

Eyre de Lanux 1894-1996 - American artist, interior & furniture designer, illustrator, journalist, poet, author & art collector 
Eyre de Lanux by Carl Van Vechten
Eyre de Lanux was an artist who dropped the use of her first name, Elizabeth, in the 1920s, as it was obvious to her at the time that women artists did not get the same recognition as men. It was not so much a feminist gesture as a calculated professional decision, she knew her work would be taken more seriously if it was not generically viewed as ‘women’s work’.

Eyre de Lanux had attended the Art Students League in New York City from 1912-1915. She seemed destined for the comfortable, metropolitan life of a wealthy amateur painter and frequenter of New York salons, but it was wartime and she was a modern woman so she found herself a job, working for the Foreign Press Bureau.  She was in some ways a twentieth century renaissance woman, with diverse talents including writing, illustration and fashion as well as painting and design. She first exhibited her painting and drawing  in 1917, but by the late 1920’s she was better known as a designer of soft furnishings and one-off pieces of high quality modernist furniture, some created  in close collaboration with English designer Evelyn Wyld, with whom she set up a workshop.