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Last updated: 1/25/2017
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Original Watercolors and Lithographs: Leonor Fini (Argentina, 1908-1996, France)

Fini: Sultanes and Magiciennes / Fini 2: Sphinxes / Fini: Paralellment / Fini 4: Portraits / Fini 5: Cats / Fini 6: Le Livre de Monelle
Arp / Coutaud / Delvaux / De Chirico / Ernst / Fini / Giacometti / Hayter / Höch / Klee / Lam / Magritte / Masson / Matta / Miró
Picasso / Richier / Seligmann / Sutherland / Tanning/ Toyen / Wunderlich
Leonor Fini's art offers a woman's take on surrealism, which large dealt with male fantasies, by offering a female view of the female body and of erotic pleasures. Fini was one of the more international figures of the Surrealist movement. She was born in Argentina, raised in her mother's home town of Trieste, Italy, and spent most of her artistic life in Paris, where she had her first one-person show in 1932 (her first one-person show took place in Milan at the Galerie Barbaroux in 1929; her first one-person show in Paris was at the Galerie Bonjean in 1932). Although she was friends with many of the leading surrealists (including Paul Eluard, Max Ernst, Rene Magritte and Victor Brauner), she never formally joined the movement though she did include her works in several of their International Surrealist Exhibitions. After the Second World War, she had many one-person shows in Europe and America (plus a major retrospective in Japan in 1972). Although she is best known for her paintings, prints, and drawings, she also created stage designs for operas and ballets including one of her own, Le Rêve de Leonor (1949), which was choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton and performed to music by Sir Benjamin Britten. Fini's works are to be found in many important collections of modern art. Her obituary in The London Times stressed her physical beauty, her erotic art, and her legions of lovers, whose names "read like a roll call of the literary and artistic talents of that brilliant age."

Bibliography: General works: José Alvarez, Le livre de Leonor fini. Peintures, dessins, écrits, notes de Leonor Fini (Lausanne: La guilde de Livre, 1975); Marcel Brion, Leonor Fini et son Oeuvre (Paris: Jean-Jacques Pauvert, 1955); Jean-Claude Dedieu, Leonor Fini. Fêtes. Secrèts. Dessins (Paris: Editions du Regard, 1978); Leonor Fini, Chats d'Atelier (France: Michèle Trinckvel, 1994); Leonor Fini et al, Leonor Fini (Paris: Galerie Dionne, 1997); Leonor Fini (Preface), Leonor Fini Peintures (France: Michèle Trinckvel, 1994); Xaviere Gauthier, Leonor Fini (Paris: Le Musée De Poche, 1979), Jean Genet, Lettre à Léonor Fini (Paris: Loyau, 1950); Jocelyne Godard,   Leonor Fini, ou, Les metamorphoses d'une oeuvre (Paris, Le Semaphore, 1996); Jean Paul Guibbert, Leonor Fini: Graphique (France: Editions Clair Fontaine, 1976); Constantin Jelenski, Leonor Fini (London: The Olympia Press, 1968); Andre Pierre de Mandiargues, Masques de Leonor Fini (Paris: La Parade/André Bonne, 1951); Esther Seldson, Leonor Fini (Bournemouth: Parlstone, 1999); Peter Webb, Sphinx: The Life and Art of Leonor Fini (NY: Vendome Press, 2009).
Leonor Fini (Argentina, 1908-1996, France), Retour de voyage I. Original color lithograph, 1985. 275 signed and numbered impressions. A woman sits on an invisible cushion in an elaborate gown before a fabric screen wearing an elaborate turban. Fini here invites us to consider Woman in several roles: goddess, ruler, priest, mage. This is one of two prints on this theme that Fini made in 1985. Image size: 758x560mm. Price: $2850.
Leonor Fini (Argentina, 1908-1996, France), Retour de voyage II. Original color lithograph, 1985. 275 signed and numbered impressions. A woman sits on an invisible cushion in an elaborate gown before a fabric screen wearing an elaborate turban. Fini here invites us to consider Woman in several roles: goddess, ruler, priest, mage. This is one of two prints on this theme that Fini made in 1985. Image size: 758x560mm. Price: $2850.
Visage. Original watercolor on heavy cream wove paper, c. 1974. Signed with the brush lower right. In Le Livre de Leonor Fini, Fini introduces a section entitled "Visages" with a reflections on the "masques" that we see when we look at ourselves in the mirror: "Si on voyait soudain dans le mirroir, à la place du masque encore mal mis ou du visage obsédant, endormi, fatigué, l'intérieur de notre tête, de notre corps palpitant, fragile, compliqué, gluant, souvent déformé et mal en point, qu'en serait-il? Penserait-on que tous sont ainsi et comme ça? On aurait une déconcertante pitié pour tout le monde? Un terrible découragement? Une colère?" (p. 173). In the section that follows, Fini pairs photographs of her face with watercolors and oil paintings of visages. Fini's visages, then are messages from the interior made visible by the artist's brush and pen as it captures fleeting (or not so fleeting) states of mind, body, or emotion. For other examples, see Le Livre de Leonor Fini, pages 174, 177, 178, 181, 182 and Selsden, pp. 98-101. Image size: 344x265mm. Price: $15,000.
Visage. Original Watercolor and ink wash on cream wove paper, c. 1970. Signed in ink lower right. Image size: 301x235mm. Price: SOLD.
Le visage étoilier. Original color lithograph on BFK Rives, c. 1974. 150 signed & numbered impressions. Image size: 635x478mm. Price: $1450.
Visage. Original color lithograph, c. 1974. 150 signed and numbered impressions. Image size: 655x505mm. Price: $1250.
La Guetteuse / The Watcher. Original color lithograph, 1971. 46 signed and numbered impressions from Livre d'Images. Ours is an artist's proof annotated "E.A." (epreuve d'artiste). One of Fini's most sought-after prints. Image size: 655x505mm. Price: $5000.
L'etincelle / The shooting star. Original color lithograph, 1971. 297 signed and numbered impressions. This is a portrait of Arianne Lancell, the publisher of two portfolios of Fini's prints. Image size: 626x475mm. Price: $1750.
Carmilla. Original color serigraph, 1986. 297 signed & numbered impressions for Carmilla, a deluxe artist's book combining Fini's screenprints and lithographs with Sheridan Le Fanu's vampire story about attraction, desire, possession, and enslavement. Like Munch, but with far more ambivalence, Fini sees women as having the power both to delight and to destroy. Printed on Arches vellum. Image size: 460x380mm. Price: $1850.

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