Finding Dora Maar: An Artist, an Address Book, a Life by Brigitte Benkemoun - Book Review

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Finding Dora Maar: An Artist, an Address Book, a Life Cover Image
By Brigitte Benkemoun, Jody Gladding (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781606066591
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Getty Publications - May 19th, 2020

Finding Dora Maar, a bestseller last year in France and translated lucidly into English by Vermonter Jody Gladding, is a delicious work of biography, memoir, detective narrative and cultural history. Benkemoun bought on eBay a vintage Hermes diary for her husband. When it arrived, she found inside an address book with entries for Cocteau, Chagall, Giacometti, Poulenc, Balthus, Éluard, Breton, Brassaï, Lacan—an exhaustive list of the giants of Parisian modernism. Through some detective work, Benkemoun discovers that its previous owner was none other than Dora Maar, Picasso’s “weeping woman.” In 1920’s Paris Maar was a brilliant young Surrealist photographer before she became Picasso’s official mistress, and her anguished portraits became some of the most recognizable of Picasso’s paintings, forever eclipsing her own efforts in photography and painting. This gripping book charts Dora’s life--the bright beginning of her artistic career, her masochistic relationship with the brilliant and cruel Picasso, and her late reactionary years of seclusion— brilliantly through the entries of her address book forming a constellation of the lives of the Parisian avant garde. ~ Reviewed by Dafydd Wood

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