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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