Home Art History Mysterious Picasso portrait may be the key to Adrienne Fidelin’s place in art history

Mysterious Picasso portrait may be the key to Adrienne Fidelin’s place in art history

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In the summer of 1937, several Surrealists vacationed together in the south of France. Since then, their holiday photos have become art history. Lee Miller and Roland Penrose were there, as well as Dora Maar and Pablo Picasso, the Éluards, Man Ray and the Guadeloupe dancer and model Adrian Fidelin. Although Fidelin was a regular in this circle for many years, he was barely mentioned in Surrealist texts.

Among those who gave her more than a passing mention was British artist Eileen Agar (also part of the holiday crew). Among other things, Agar’s autobiography states that when Fidelin first met Picasso, she “came up to him, put her arms around his neck, and said, ‘I hear you’re a very good painter.'” It is written. What Agar didn’t write, and probably didn’t know, was that Picasso had painted Portrait of Fidelin that summer.

He wasn’t the only one charmed by the bubbly Fidelin.In the same year, Fidelin became obsessed. Harper’s Bazaar This is probably the first time a black model has appeared in a major American fashion magazine. She also appears in more than 400 photographs of Man Ray, her boyfriend of five years, as well as photographs of Penrose, Miller, Agar, and Wolds. So when Wendy Grossman, a Man Ray scholar who studies Fideline, was poring over her snapshots from the summer of 1937, it occurred to her that there might be a different kind of memory. “I kept saying there had to be a painting or a drawing or something by Picasso depicting her,” Grossman said, keeping in mind that Picasso painted everyone else in the group. Ta.

She thought it was like finding a needle in a haystack, but it was easy because Picasso recorded the dates of his works (not just the year of the work). She looked around her summer of 1937. Femme Assis Sur Fond Jaune et Rose, II (1937), she was convinced she had found Fideline because a certain Man Ray photograph looked almost identical. In it, a naked Fidelin stands on the wall, holding a bumpy washboard.

“Visual features such as hair texture and black face clearly identify this as a woman of color,” Grossman said. “But the coup that carried it out perfectly is she two or she three.” Picasso kept Femme Assis It remained in his private collection until his death, along with two vintage prints of Man Ray photographs that Grossman believed inspired the work. Another photographic print in old auction records was signed by Man Ray and inscribed with “arr Picasso.” “Man Ray says he’s related to Picasso,” Grossman says.

She found Fidelin painted on a canvas, but no one knew where the painting was. She inherited it from the recently deceased Maya Picasso (daughter of Picasso and Marie-Thérèse Walter), who last exhibited it in a traveling exhibition of her collection in Japan in 1985. There is currently a social media campaign led by Grossman and media expert Marie Emedi called .Find Addy” is looking for it in hopes of exhibiting it and bringing Fidelin’s story back into the mainstream of art history.

“It’s more important than finding a missing Picasso painting,” Emedi says. “I think people who own this know it’s a Picasso, but I hope with the increased exposure they realize how important what they’re sitting on is.” I am.”

Finding Addie was released in early January and has since been promoted by people like director Spike Lee, who was interested in Fidelin. new york times has been published Belated news of her death last year. Interest is growing as the campaign continues, but there are still no clues.

“The search for the missing Picasso painting is the story of Addy’s search,” says Grossman. “The fact that this painting disappeared, went unrecognized, no one acknowledged who it was, was so uncirculated and unpopular, it is similar to the situation in which Adi himself disappeared. ”

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