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Tamara de Lempicka
(1898 - July 21, 1980) Poland

self-portrait

Artist

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Adam and EveThe exact date of her birth is not known, but she was born in or near Warsaw, and before she was 20, had married Tadeusz Laempicki and lived in St Petersburg. They moved to Paris in 1917. After her daughter Kizette was born, she studied painting with Maurice Denis and André Lhore. Lempicka is best known for her Art Deco-styled portraits. Sexy, bedroom-eyed women in stylish dress are rendered in haunting poses. In 1918, she studied painting at the Académie de la Grand Chaumière in Paris, and was privately tutored by Maurice Denis. In 1925 she exhibited her works at the first Art Deco show.

She was bisexual and her affairs with men and women were carried out in ways that were scandalous and trangressive. Similarly she used formal and narrative elements in her portraits and nude studies to produce overpowering effects of desire and seduction.

In 1934 she remarried a rich Hungarian aristocrat, Baron Raoul Kuffner, and at the outbreak of war went to live in America. Her works appeared exclusively at many galleries and museums, but her artistic output decreased. In 1960 she changed her style to abstract art and began creating works with a spatula. After her husband died in 1962 she ceased painting and moved to Mexico.

Women

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Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History, from Antiquity to WWII, Routledge, London, 2001 - et alii

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