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Book Title: Tamara De Lempicka: A Life of Deco and Decadence|
The author of the book: Laura Claridge
ISBN 13: 9780517705575
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 352 KB
Edition: Crown Publications
Date of issue: September 21st 1999
Read full description of the books Tamara De Lempicka: A Life of Deco and Decadence:An icon of the Jazz Age, Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka lived a life well worth recording. Until now, however, no one has written the story of this woman of extraordinary talent and notoriety. She was a great beauty, an aristocratic refugee of the Russian Revolution, and a frankly erotic painter who insisted upon Renaissance aesthetics, figuration, and painterly craft in modern art. The sky-high prices attached to her canvases in recent years have still not dispelled the suspicions that a woman of Lempicka's glamour and fame could be a truly serious artist. Yet the reviews of the early twentieth century tell a different story: her work was routinely singled out as competing with major figures of the School of Paris, including Léger, Laurençin, Kisling, and Picasso.
In this first critical biography, Laura Claridge draws upon her exclusive access to Lempicka's family, friends, and archives to re-create the life that the painter carefully withheld even from her own daughter: the truth of her birth; her escape from Bolshevik Russia; her determination to become a New Woman; her lifelong bouts of depression; her numerous affairs with the women and men she painted; her flight from Nazi Europe via Havana; and her years in Hollywood and New York as the "Baroness with a brush," all informed by the artistic integrity and social anachronism that condemned her to being written out of the canons of modern art.
Emblematic of '20s excess and indulgence, Tamara de Lempicka's life of great wealth, indiscriminate sexuality, and endless intrigue makes for a fascinating narrative. But her paintings have inspired fierce disagreements over issues of class, wealth, and gender in modern art, making her work ripe for critical re-evaluation. In Tamara de Lempicka: A Life of Deco and Decadence, Laura Claridge has succeeded brilliantly on both counts, bringing to light the contradictions that fueled the life and work of this provocative painter.
Though Paris in the early twenties certainly earned its bohemian reputation, Tamara was playing the game hard by anyone's standards. It seemed to her that she could have it all: respect, money, and sexual gratification on the side. She had arrived at the Gare du Nord only four years earlier, gifted with a painter's talent and a family history of feminine power. Encountering a cultural climate that affirmed art as a remunerative career for women, she also felt freed personally by the Modernist mantra to "make it new" that underwrote every aspect--trivial and profound--of daily life. She was determined to embody that icon of the age, the new woman.
Read information about the authorLaura Claridge has written books ranging from feminist theory to biography and popular culture, most recently the story of an American icon, Emily Post: Daughter of the Gilded Age, Mistress of American Manners (Random House), for which she received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant. This project also received the J. Anthony Lukas Prize for a Work in Progress, administered by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Born in Clearwater, Florida, Laura Claridge received her Ph.D. in British Romanticism and Literary Theory from the University of Maryland in 1986. She taught in the English departments at Converse and Wofford colleges in Spartanburg, SC, and was a tenured professor of English at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis until 1997.
She has been a frequent writer and reviewer for the national press, appearing in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Vogue, Los Angeles Times, and the Christian Science Monitor. Her books have been translated into Spanish, German, and Polish. She has appeared frequently in the national media, including NBC, CNN, BBC, CSPAN, and NPR and such widely watched programs as the Today Show.
Laura Claridge’s biography of iconic publisher Blanche Knopf, The Lady with the Borzoi, will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux April, 2016.
Laura Claridge and her husband live in New York’s Hudson Valley.
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