Picasso, Dora Maar, and Guernica

In the café Les Deux Magots, in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district, he met the Parisian bohemia of the 1930s, artists, writers and poets who sought glory in the capital of culture. day Pablo Picasso And the poet Paul Eluard, seated on one of the stands, noticed a young woman who had sat a few tables away and began to play a game of Russian roulette with a knife which was stuck between the fingers of one hand, without much success, as the glove she was using the cap began to have blood on it. Picasso and Eluard hastily got up, approached the woman and offered her help. Her name was Dora Maar and she became the painter’s model, muse and new lover. Dora Maar was then 29 years old. Picasso, 55. Picasso, unlike his previous wives, found in Dora Maar an interlocutor with whom he would talk about art, poetry, politics, music … She fell in love so deeply that she said “after Picasso there is only God.”

Picasso’s women

Picasso had affairs with more than a dozen women who were his lovers, wives, and models. Olga KuklovaAnd Marie Therese WalterAnd Françoise GilotAnd Jacqueline Rock. And Dora Mar. Two of them ended up committing suicide. Marie-Therese Walter hanged herself in 1977, and Jacqueline Roque shot herself in 1986. Two other women, Dora Maar and Olga Kokhlova, suffered from psychological problems. His first wife, Kohkhlova, had given up her career as a dancer to join the painter, who, after their separation, described her as insane and an eunuch. Dora Maar also gave up painting for Picasso.

More than just romantic

was called Henriette Theodora Markovic She was known in certain circles of the artistic intelligentsia in Paris. He was the poet’s lover George Bataille And a friend of artists like Alberto GiacomettiAnd George Barak And Tristan Tzara.

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When Dora Maar met Picasso, she was already a successful photographer in some avant-garde settings, With a promising career and high-quality work that was overshadowed by his resume. I trained as a cube illustrator Andre Lott And he never gave up painting. Daughter of the Croatian architect Josip Markovich Based on Louise Julie VoisinDora Marr, who owned a high-fashion store, was born in Paris in 1907 and educated between France and Buenos Aires, where her father worked, and from here she was fluent in Spanish. In politics, she has been associated with ultra-left groups, such as the Octobre and Contre-Attaque, ideologically led by Georges Bataille and André Breton. The Contre-Attaque ideology was very similar to the ideology of the Situationists of the 1960s, whose most prominent representative was Jay Debordauthor of “The Society of the Scene & rdquo;”.

Dora Maar has done photography advertising as well as for fashion magazines such as “Vogue & rdquor;” Paris Magazine ” “Le Figaro Illustré & rdquor; with models like Nosh Elward (Paul Eluard’s partner) And above all Asia (Asya Granatorov), the “supermodel star & rdquo;” model. His works include “The Years That Haunt You” advertising for cosmetic cream and “Advertising for Pétrole Hahn & rdquor; (hair lotion).

He also practiced making social documentaries, photographing people affected by personal tragedies: the blind, the crippled, the beggars, the underprivileged, street musicians, children in shanties, street vendors, the homeless and the homeless; In Spain, he reported in Barcelona and Tossa de Mar in 1934.

Bataille introduced him to Andre Breton and his wife Jacqueline Lambawith whom Dora became close friends, and of the surrealist photographers Man Ray, Brassai and Lee Miller. The most famous surrealist image of Dora Maar is “Portrait of an Ubo and an Armadillo, for the play by Alfred Jarry “Ubu rey & rdquor; interpreted by critics as a sad and playful animal or a terrifying image. Techniques of surrealism began to appear in Dora Maar’s work: photomontages, overprinting and sunning, subjects suggesting the world of dreams and the absurd, playing with architectural spaces and introducing exotic objects that Experimented by their inversion of values. They emphasize “29 Astorg Street & rdquor; , with a grotesque figure that blends a statue of a woman with the phallic head of a bird. Onirique & rdquor; with two teenagers in a cellar with the goddess Athena, who represent consciousness and the unconscious. Shows the photosynthesis of a monstrous face. He also experimented with objects of strong eroticism.

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Picasso portrayed Dora Maar on more than 30 occasions, first as a bountiful beauty and then as a dramatic, restless, hysterically disturbed being: “a weeping woman ”” woman crying with a handkerchief & rdquor; “Woman’s Head ”” woman in a blue hat & rdquor . in “Night Fishing in Antibes & rdquor; He is with Jacqueline Lamba and in “Dora and the Minotaur” he represents it as an expression of sexual desire.

“GUERNICA & rdquor;

In the first week of January 1937 (three months before the bombing of Guernica) Picasso received a delegation from the Government of the Spanish Republic in his Paris studio with Josep Renau, Juan Larrea, Luis Lacasa, José Bergamín and Max Aub, who commissioned him to make a mural for the Republican Pavilion at the Universal Exhibition that was to be held in Paris. In the midst of a civil war, the Republic needed Picasso, the world’s most famous artist. Picasso created large-scale work and Dora Maar suggested the attic of Building 7, Rue des Grands-Agustins, where he would live and workshop. Balzac The left-wing Counter Attack group met. Picasso was unsure of the subject matter of his painting. He decided when he learned of the bombing of Guernica. On May 1 Picasso made the first notes and in the next five weeks he released tremendous creative energy to finish the painting.

Dora Maar had the historic opportunity to film the process of creating “Guernica & rdquor;a series of portraits that constitute perhaps the best documented example of work progress in the entire history of art.

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After a relationship that lasted about ten years, between 1936 and 1946, Picasso abandoned Dora Maar when he met Françoise Gilot, 20 years younger than Dora Maar and 40 years younger than Picasso. Gilot became his muse and model, and the only woman Picasso abandoned.

The separation deeply affected Dora Maar, who was admitted to a psychiatric hospital and confined to her home in Minerps in a deep depression. Keep seeing some friends like Giacometti, Oscar Dominguez, and Marie-Laure de Noel (French aristocrat, close friend) before withdrawing completely from public life. In solitude he resumed painting and fervently embraced the Catholic religion, going to Mass daily from his Parisian home on the Rue Savoie (remember the phrase “after Picasso there is only God”?). Little by little the world began to forget it.

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day, Victoria Compalia, a professor at the University of Barcelona, ​​discovered that she was still alive and decided to interview her. She did this on several occasions over the phone (Dora never allowed a direct relationship), wrote her autobiography and shot a documentary, showing an artist whose talent shines with its own light. In 1995 Cumpalia organized a retrospective of her work at the Bancaixa Foundation in Valencia, which brought her back to the present day.

Dora Maar died on July 16, 1997, and her funeral in the family cemetery in Clamart Cemetery, near Paris, was attended by only six people. Between 1997 and 1999, 130 artist Her property, photographs, documents, jewelry and things that the artist kept in her home were sold.

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