The Fantastic Bridget Bate Tichenor

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Let’s have a look at the work of Mexican Surrealist (yes, another one!) painter Bridget Bate Tichenor (1917-1990). If you had shown me the painting above before I knew about this artist, I definitely would have thought it was a Leonora Carrington piece.

Knowing that it is in fact by Bridget Bate Tichenor, the main difference between the two artists’ work for me is the spiritual feeling of their pieces. Both artists produced work with a profound spiritual presence, but Leonora’s seems more personal and delicate, whilst Bridget’s is comparatively universal and bold.

Needless to say, I love both! I really must go to Mexico one day – it clearly brings out the artist in a woman. I just need to figure out the coldest part and time of year…

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Above: Portrait of Bridget Bate Tichenor by George Platt Lynes, New York 1945.

Education Slade School of Fine Art, École des Beaux Arts, Art Students League of New York
Known for Painting, Fashion editor
Movement Surrealism, magic realism

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Born in France and of British descent, she later embraced Mexico as her home… She was the daughter of the Virginia born American NBC, World War I correspondent Frederick Blantford Bate and Sarah (Vera) Gertrude Arkwright Bate Lombardi, who were married after Bridget’s birth in 1919. Chisholm Gallery

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Bridget Tichenor’s mother, who was reputedly a well-connected descendant of George III, was the public relations liaison to the royal families of Europe for Coco Chanel. After an arranged marriage Tichenor moved to New York, where she attended the Art Students League of New York. In 1945, after the divorce from her first husband, she married Jonathan Tichenor, an assistant of photographer George Platt Lynes. Huffington Post

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She was among a group of surrealist and magic realist female artists who came to live in Mexico in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Her introduction to Mexico was through a cousin she had first met in Paris in the 1930s: Edward James, the British surrealist art collector and sponsor of the magazine Minotaure. James lived in Las Pozas, San Luis Potosí, and his home in Mexico had an enormous surrealist sculpture garden with natural waterfalls, pools and surrealist sculptures in concrete. In 1947, James invited her to visit him again at his home Xilitia, near Tampico in the rich Black Olmec culture of the Gulf CoastGood old Wikipedia

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Doodle Tuesday – Louise Bourgeois

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This week’s doodle comes from Feminist Surrealist (not officially either) Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010). Probably most well-known for her cells (below) and giant spiders, Bourgeois’ sketches always hit me the hardest.

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Above: Sculpture by Bourgeois in theDomestic Incidents group exhibit at London’s Tate Modern Turbine Hall, 2006

I think I’m ready to say that she’s my favourite artist now. Or at least that she ties with John Cage. Yes, I don’t think they’d mind sharing. They’re both so inspirational.

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Born Louise Josephine Bourgeois
25 December 1911
Paris, France
Died 31 May 2010 (aged 98)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.

Her mother’s death inspired her to abandon mathematics and to begin studying art. Her father thought modern artists were wastrels and refused to support her. Good old Wikipedia

5 Hours of Photography. 5: Dora Maar

Our final hour is dedicated to Dora Maar, painter and photographer, and lover and muse to Picasso. She was part of the Paris Surrealist group, which is how she met Picasso.

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But after Picasso ended their relationship, replacing her with Francoise Gilot as a lover and muse, she suffered frequent bouts of depression and opted increasingly for a life of reclusion, living in the shadow of the image Picasso had created for her. ”I could never see her, never imagine her, except crying,” he is said to have remarked… Miss Maar, whose real name was Theodora Markovic, was born in Tours, France, on Nov. 22, 1907, and spent her childhood in Argentina, where her father, a foreign-born architect, was working. Arriving in Paris around 1925, the beautiful dark-haired young woman was drawn into the world of photography, first as a model for Man Ray and others and then as a photographer… In the 1930’s, with Andre Breton and Georges Bataille urging her into the Surrealist movement and encouraging her to paint, she joined the Union of Intellectuals Against Fascism and was active in other anti-Fascist groups. After meeting Picasso, she helped him set up his studio at 7 Rue des Grands-Augustins, where in 1937 he painted ”Guernica,” a process she recorded in photographs… Throughout their nine-year affair, Picasso continued his relationship with his longtime mistress, Marie-Therese Walter, with the two women at times living together and on at least one occasion posing together for him. As Miss Maar’s stormy relationship with Picasso deteriorated, she was increasingly portrayed in a cruel and tragic light. As a model for major works, though, she was matched in importance only by the artist’s last wife, Jacqueline Roque… Among well-known portraits of Miss Maar are ”Weeping Woman,” ”Woman Reclining With a Book,” ”Woman Combing her Hair,” ”Bust of a Seated Woman” and many others that carry her name. Masters of Photography

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I hope you’ve enjoyed these 5 Hours of Photography! Please share if you did.

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Leonora Carrington – Top 10 Facts

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Above: Picture of the sculpture “Stallion” on display at the Estacion Indianilla museum in Mexico City, on April 14, 2011 as part of the exhibition of Mexican sculptor Leonora Carrington. (Getty)

Leonora Carrington was a fantastic surrealist artist and weird fiction author. Here are ten facts you need to know.

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  1. She Was a Founding Member of the Women’s Liberation Movement in Mexico
  2. Carrington was raised in a wealthy Roman Catholic family on a large estate called Crookhey Hall.
  3. She died May 25 2011 at the age of 94, and was one of the last surviving participants in the Surrealist movement of the 1930s.
  4. She remained active as a painter and sculptor throughout her life, and continued to inspire younger generations.
  5. Two weeks after her death an international group of Surrealists met in Athens to explore her proposal for “Surrealist survival kits”.
  6. She had fallen in love with the 46-year-old, married, surrealist painter Max Ernst. She intended to move to Paris with him and pursue a career as an artist.The Guardian
  7. Leonora Carrington was a revolutionary before she ever encountered the Surrealists. Born into an upper class family in Lancashire, England, Leonora learned at a very early age the injustice of society.Illinois.edu
  8. Finally after many rebellious acts and expulsions from school, she succeeded in convincing her parents to let her study art at the Amédée Ozenfant Academy in London.
  9. He (Ernst) left his wife for Carrington, his “Bride of the Wind”. The couple lived together until the outbreak of W.W.II when Ernst was taken prisoner as an enemy alien. Carrington’s work during this period moves from themes of childhood filled with magical birds and animals, to a mature art based on Celtic mythology and alchemical transformation. It is an art of sensibility rather than hallucination, one in which animal guides lead the way out of a world of men who don’t know magic, fear the night, and have no mental powers except intellect. Illinois.edu
  10. “The source of Carringtion’s magical white horse lies not in Freud’s use of the horse as a symbol of male power but in the Celtic legends that nourished her childhood…the horse is sacred to the ancient tribe of the Tuatha de Danaan…the hyena belongs to the fertile world of night; the horse becomes an image of rebirth into the light of day and the world beyond the looking glass. As symbolic intermediaries between the unconscious and the natural world, they replace male Surrealists’ reliance on the image of woman as the mediating link between man and the “marvelous” and suggest the powerful role played by Nature as a source of creative power for the woman artist (Chadwick, p. 79).”

Anthology of Black Humour