1898-05-16

TAMARA DE LEMPICKA, Polish Art Deco painter, born (d: 1980); born Maria G√≥rska in Warsaw, her distinctive and bold artistic style developed quickly (influenced by what Lhote sometimes referred to as “soft cubism” and by Denis’ “synthetic cubism”) and epitomized the cool yet sensual side of the Art Deco movement. For her, Picasso “embodied the novelty of destruction.” She thought that many of the Impressionists drew badly and employed “dirty” colors. De Lempicka technique would be novel, clean, precise, and elegant.

During the Roaring 20s Paris, Tamara de Lempicka was part of the bohemian life: she knew Picasso, Cocteau and Andre Gide. Famous for her libido, she was bisexual, and her affairs with both men and women were carried out in ways that were scandalous at the time. She often used formal and narrative elements in her portraits and nude studies to produce overpowering effects of desire and seduction. In the 1920s she became closely associated with Lesbian and bisexual women in writing and artistic circles, such as Violet Trefusis, Vita Sackville-West and Colette. She also became involved with Suzy Solidor, a night club singer at Boite de Nuit, whom she later painted. Her husband eventually tired of their arrangement; he abandoned her in 1927, and they were divorced in 1928.