Published by Silvana Editoriale. Edited by Elisa Farran, Annie Maïllis.
Françoise Gilot’s (born 1921) “French years” reveal an oeuvre that remains too little known, especially in France: after all, Gilot had dared to leave Picasso, who had instructed galleries and critics to reject her, and had told the story of her life with him in a bestselling volume, and had migrated to the US. Published for the artist’s 100th birthday, this book attempts to correct this deliberate eclipse of her accomplishment as a painter. “I don’t paint what I see but rather what concerns me”: whether in painting, drawing or engraving, in her still lifes or in her portraits of Picasso and her children, in her choice of figurative art or abstraction, this dictum holds true. Throughout these shifts, an aptitude for pure, brilliant color would become her trademark, as in the Labyrinth Series, in which Theseus, her mythical alter ego, loses his bearings in order to find himself. Containing more than 90 color images of her paintings and drawings, this hardcover book gives a complete overview of this formative moment in her career.
Much, but perhaps never enough, has been said about the disparities between the acceptance and presence of women in the world of Modern art. Facing constant discrimination and centuries-old attitudes that kept them out of the academy and in the home, women artists have only of late begun to receive their due. Despite the odds--her father's opposition, competition from her artist partners, Picasso among them, and the task of raising three children--Françoise Gilot has maintained a continuingly vital presence in the art world for more than 50 years. Her paintings, drawings and graphic works exist as a bridge between the Paris School of the 40s and 50s and the contemporary American art scene, a harmony of the organic and the abstract, intuition and rationality. Her oeuvre is represented here in a selection of 36 large-scale paintings from different periods of works between 1945 and 2002, accompanied by essays, an interview with the artist, and biographic and bibliographic information.