December 15, 2010

The Women Destroyed : first and only collaboration between the Beauvoir sisters

If one knows the brilliant career of the young Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), Hélène (1910-2001), youngest sister, perhaps less supported by her parents, takes time to choose her career. She mets with her sister's friends and goes out with Lionel de Roulet - then a student of Jean-Paul Sartre - who will become the companion of a lifetime. With the support of her sister freshly received professor "agrégé" in Philosophy, Hélène rents her first painter studio. In 1936, she exhibits for the first time in Paris and gets nice reviews. She is recognized by his peers long before Simone. Surprisingly, Hélène and Simone have worked together only once, for a book, The Women Destroyed, while it seems that the two sisters maintained, a priori, a quite relationship. Helen, after Sartre's death, made many round trips to Paris to support Simone. Curiously, after the death of the latter, Hélène received no authority over the affairs of her sister. It is the late adopted daughter of Simone, Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir, who became the legitimate heir of her mother's work. In 1990, Sylvie Le Bon de Beauvoir published Letters to Sartre, in which Simone described her sister as an artist of little talent. Hélène was destroyed by these intimal revelations.

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • [BEAUVOIR (Hélène de)] - BEAUVOIR (Simone de). La Femme Rompue. Illustré de 16 burins originaux par Hélène de Beauvoir. Paris, Gallimard, 1964, in-4, in leaves, publisher's covers and case. First edition with 16 original engravings by Hélène de Beauvoir. Limited to 143 copies, one of 7 the non-commercial issues on Lana vellum.  Copy with a dedication by the author and the artist.

December 01, 2010

The skills of Valentine Penrose

The phantasmagoria of Valentine Penrose 's images and poems, by the clever and marvel of  her writing, by the naive objectivity of her collages, make me gain confidence in myself and in the virtues of truth given.
In these words Paul Eluard evokes the work of Valentine Penrose (1898-1978) in Dons des Féminines, from which he wrote the preface. The poetess and surrealist collagist had multiple lives : in England with her husband, the photographer Roland Penrose, in Spain, where she mes a guru, in India where she went to live in an ashram with the painter Alice Rahon Paalen,  in Algeria where she  wassent in 1944 after enlisting as 3rd class soldier. Woman of character with a beauty appreciated by the surrealists, Valentine Penrose  celebrates womanish, sometimes flirting with racy eroticism.

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers : 
  • Penrose (Valentine). Dons des féminines. Préface de Paul Éluard. Paris, Les Pas Perdus, 1951, in-4, covers. Édition illustrated with 25 full page collages by Valentine Penrose. Limited to 400 numbered copies. Preface by Paul Éluard.