This week the Tate Modern presents the first UK retrospective of the work of Dora Maar, whose provocative photographs became celebrated icons of surrealism.
Featuring more than 200 works from a career spanning more than six decades, this exhibition, which began on Wednesday, shows how Maar’s eye for the unusual also translated to her photographs and paintings.
Born in 1907, Maar became part of a generation of women who seized the new professional opportunities offered by advertising and the illustrated press.
Tate Modern’s exhibition will open with the most important examples of these commissioned works.
Striking nude studies such as that of famed model Assia Granatouroff will also reveal how women photographers like Maar were beginning to infiltrate relatively taboo genres such as erotica and nude photography.
During the 1930s, Maar was active in left-wing revolutionary groups led by artists and intellectuals.
Her street photography from this time shot in Barcelona, Paris and London captured the reality of life during Europe’s economic depression.
A major highlight of the show will be outstanding examples of this area of Maar’s practice.
In the winter of 1935–6 Maar met Pablo Picasso and their relationship of around eight years had a profound affect on both their careers.
She documented the creation of his most political work, Guernica, offering unprecedented insight into his working process.
He in turn immortalised her in the motif of the ‘weeping woman’.
Together they made a series of portraits that combined experimental photographic and printmaking techniques, anticipating her energetic return to painting in 1936.
The exhibition runs until March 2020
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