Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Evoking her personal journey to self-discovery and spiritual awakening: Bridget Bate Tichenor (1917-1990) by Priscilla Frank

Tichenor was a French-born painter who later embraced Mexico as her home. At the age of 16, when still based in Paris, she served as a model for Coco Chanel and a subject for photographers including Man Ray. In the 1950s, the artist left her second husband and a job at Vogue to permanently move to Mexico, building a community with fellow magical realist painters like Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo.

Tichenor's paintings, inspired by 16th-century Italian Renaissance works, combined traditional painting methods with more unorthodox spiritual influences, such as Mesoamerican mythology and the occult. Her works often involve masks, disguises and unhinged faces, evoking her personal journey to self-discovery and spiritual awakening.

Bridget Bate Tichenor 1978, by Francesco Scavullo

The names most often associated with surrealism, the avant-garde cultural movement born in the 1920s, include Max Ernst, Salvador DalĂ­, Man Ray, Hans Arp, Marcel Duchamp and Yves Tanguy, among others.

Surprise, surprise, they're all men. 

Thankfully, Sotheby's is now hoping to illuminate the many women artists who deserve equal recognition, those who also expressed the convoluted details of their interior worlds with sharp lines and bold colors. The upcoming exhibition "Cherchez la Femme: Women and Surrealism" will feature more well-known names like Frida Kahlo and Leonora Carrington, along with many even surrealist buffs may not recognize.

"Espejismo" 1967, Oil on masonite

"A lot of it is still fairly unknown to the general public, even to surrealism enthusiasts," Julian Dawes, a Sotheby’s vice president who organized the show, explained to The New York Times. "Male surrealists look at women as objects of desire. The female surrealists sort of treat women as looking inward."

by Priscilla Frank, excerpt from 7 Forgotten Women Surrealists Who Deserve To Be Remembered

Shared with permission of the author.

You can read more about the artist here.

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