HEROINES | MADGE GILL

HEROINES | MADGE GILL | DANCERS ROAD BLOG

The best thing about travelling is discovering new things. While in Paris a few weeks ago I came across a magazine I hadn’t seen before called Raw Vision. I instantly bought it to read in the train back in Rotterdam because the pictures were so appealing and I’m glad I did. It’s a magazine about outsider (I highly admire self taught artists) and folk art and it had Madge Gill on the cover.

Madge Gill (1882-1961) is a well know outsider artist who made cushions, quilts, dresses and magically fascinating ink-drawings. She was born in East End of London as the daughter of an unmarried mother and an absent father. At the age of nine she was brought to an orphanage because her family couldn’t live with the embarrassment of a bastard child. She spent part of her teenage years in Canada working as a servant and babysitter. She returned to England at the age of 18, she had 3 sons and one stillborn daughter. Madge herself came close to death, and a subsequent lengthy illness resulted in the loss of her left eye, which was replaced with a glass one. From the 1930s on, Madge Gill enjoyed a reputation as a medium in her Upton Park neighbourhood. She is said to have organized séances at her home, drawing up horoscopes and offering spontaneous prophecies. Madge Gill’s works are now preserved in several public collections, including the Collection de l’Art brut in Lausanne, Switzerland, and the Aracine Collection in Lille, France.

source: www.madgegill.com & www.rawvsion.com

HEROINES | MADGE GILL | DANCERS ROAD BLOG

HEROINES | MADGE GILL | DANCERS ROAD BLOG

 

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HEROINES | LOTTI VAN DER GAAG

works by Dutch Cobra artist Lotti van der Gaag - from Dancers Road Blog

A couple of weeks ago I visited a retrospective of Dutch art after 1945 at the Stedelijk Museum in Schiedam. Many works of the members of the Cobra movement were shown and I was pleased to see, among many other paintins, my favourite cobra painting Constant.

It was at this exhibition that the work of Lotti van der Gaag caught my renewed attention. It’s strange  how these things go with art (and fashion and food and literature); what appeals to me seems to shift from time to time. Works from artists that I adored before lose their attractive force on me for a while, while other works suddenly appeal more to me than ever before. The work of Lotti van der Gaag never seemed that special to me until now. Now it’s really getting me, or I’m finally getting it…

Lotti van der Gaag (1923-1999) was a Dutch sculptor that created fantasy creatures in clay. Later on in her life she also painted. The information about her that can be found on the web quite differences in content, even the more reliable sources don’t seem to agree on her life and the way she lived it. Some sources say that she never exhibited with the members of the Cobra, other say that she initiated exhibitions of her own work with important members of the Cobra movement such as Karel Appel and Corneille. She lived in Paris that’s for sure, where she shared a studio building with some of the Cobra members. Most sources report that she was never married but she had relationships with Bram Bogart, Kees van Bohemen and Jan Cremer. According to her quotes she never married one of them because they could never accept that she worked as artist the way she did. The more I read about her online the more she strikes me as a rebel. I must remember to read a book about her as soon as I can!

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WHAT FRIDA WORE

Frida Kahlo

This week the Guardian came with the very exciting news that it’s now possible to see what Frida Kahlo wore during her life. After Frida Kahlo died in 1954, her husband Diego Rivera shut her belongings in a bathroom at their Mexico City home, the Blue House – then demanded it be locked until 15 years after his death. In fact, the room wasn’t opened until 2004, when Ishiuchi Miyako photographed its intimate contents. Here are the artists’ beloved belongings, from sunglasses to handpainted corsets. The photographs made by Miyako are now being exhibited from the 15th of may till the 12th of july at Michael Hoppen Gallery in London. Here are a few examples, more photographs can be found here .

Frida Kahlo sunglasses

Untitled-2

Kahlo’s right leg was thinner than her left after childhood polio – and it was later fractured in 11 places when she had a horrific bus accident in her 20s. As a result, she wore long, traditional Tehuana dresses that concealed her lower body (source: the Guardian).

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combi

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Original vintage Tehuana dresses like Frida wore are difficult to find. I did however found the funky blue dress at Recollectvint. Second dress from: LoneWolfeVintage. Vintage print with chilipeppers from: WildWildernessPhotos and Cactus print from: CastafioreOldPrints.

HEROINES #2 SONIA DELAUNAY

 Sonia Delaunay

‘Colour is the skin of the world’

‘One who knows how to appreciate colour relationships, the influence of one colour on another, their contrasts and dissonances, is promised an infinitely diverse imagery.’

Sonia Delaunay

Sonia Delaunay

Sonia Delaunay

 

As an art school student, taking painting classes I came across the paintings of Sonia Delaunay years ago and I must say they never were so appealing to me. I never liked the overdue of bright colours and the geometrical shapes. But that lack of interest from my side goesfor  the paintings. At the moment there’s a big retrospective exhibition of her work going on in the Tate Modern and while drinking tea in the cafeteria of the museum I came to read her biography. Reading about her impressive life (she was given away by her own parents at the age of seven to a rich family member and moved from here home in Odessa to St. Petersburg in Russia, survived two world wars coming from a Jewish family, married twice; one time out of friendship with a gay friend and one time out of love to Robert Delaunay, started here own successful business, was a key figure in the Parisian avant-garde, lived in many different  countries and died an old and famous woman). I knew her paintings but I didn’t know about her decorative work in fashion and interior design. I highly admire people who can be multidisciplinary in a natural way and add something valuable to more than one discipline without becoming to commercial. I also admire her beauty and even though I’m not a great fan of her paintings I do love here drawings, patterns and textile designs which inspired many later designers and artists. Delaunay died in 1979 aged 94, and was painting the day she died. ‘I always changed everything around me,’ she said. ‘I made my first white walls so our paintings would look better. I designed my furniture; I have done everything. I have lived my art.’

The exhibition about her work at the Tate Modern in London is on until August 9th.

sonia delaunay on dancers road

 

Sonia Delaunay

sonia delaunay on dancers road2

 

 

HEROINES #1 LAURA DERN

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I was hooked when she saved that triceratops in Jurassic Park, absolutely in love with her smile and appearance from the beginning. She must be the only woman who can wear a safari outfit with shorts that are six sizes to big and still look elegant and sexy. I mean who can pull that off? Laura Dern is one of my favorite actresses, she has something wild, yet kind and her hair always seems to blow away a little. Last week I watched the movie Wild, the leading role is played by Reese Wutherspoon who I love; she is funny and gorgeous and talented and she plays a very cool woman in this movie. However that’s not the point here. The real pleasant surprise for me was that Laura Dern appears in it. She plays the role of the mother of Reese Wutherspoon and it’s a lovely, beautiful, funny, yet sad movie and you should go see it! If only for the scene were Laura Dern is dancing in the kitchen; celebrating life.

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Her parents, both actors, Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern

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In Jurassic Park, 1993

 

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With Nicolas Cage on the set of Wild at Heart 1990