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date: 12 December 2019

Fini, Leonorlocked

(b Buenos Aires, Aug 30, 1908; d Paris, Jan 18, 1996).
  • Whitney Chadwick

Extract

(b Buenos Aires, Aug 30, 1908; d Paris, Jan 18, 1996).

French painter, stage designer and illustrator of Argentine birth. She grew up in Trieste, Italy. Her first contact with art was through visits to European museums and in her uncle’s large library, where she gleaned her earliest knowledge of artists such as the Pre-Raphaelites, Aubrey Beardsley and Gustav Klimt. She had no formal training as an artist. Her first one-woman exhibition took place in Paris in 1935 and resulted in friendships with Paul Eluard, Max Ernst, René Magritte and Victor Brauner, bringing her into close contact with the Surrealists; her sense of independence and her dislike of the Surrealists’ authoritarian attitudes kept her, however, from officially joining the movement. Nevertheless her works of the late 1930s and 1940s reflect her interest in Surrealist ideas. She also participated in the major international exhibitions organized by the group.

Fini’s almost mystical appreciation for the latent energy residing in rotting vegetation and her interest in nature’s cycles of generation and decay can be seen in works such as ...

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