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8.31.2011

Claude Cahun, Jeu de Paume, Paris... Last days!!

Good afternoon contemporary art lovers!
Writer, actress, photographer, Claude Cahun, a French artist (1894-1954), left behind her a very intimate, poetic and autobiographic work which was focused on questioning mankind, sexuality, homosexuality, transvestism... Her self-portraits are probably the most interesting of her works. One cannot say at the first sight if it's a man or a woman!

A few connoisseurs know her work. She has been unknown for a long time as if her work, which is very intimate, was appreciated only by a few experts and art collectors in the vein as artists like Pierre Molinier, Victor Brauner, Unica Zurn... Claude Cahun, whose real name was Lucy Schwob, was the niece of writer Marcel Schwob and the great niece of writer Leon Cahun. She was a close to the Surrealists and involved in politics between the First and Second World Wars. Her girlfriend, Suzanne Malherbe (aka Marcel Moore), was a painter and an engraver. They were faithful to each other until the death of Claude.

If artists such Pierre Molinier or Man Ray used to represent themselves as a woman, Claude Cahun often photographed herself as a guy! She had at her disposal things like fabric, bedspreads, sheets and hangings to do the background and masks, gloves, capes, overgarment to reinvent herself. She definitely must have inspired artists such as Cindy Sherman who made herself as a clown, a man, a random girl and many other characters. At the beginning of the 20th Century, she was one of the first artists who explored questioning about identity and gender.

This amazing exhibition has to be seen! Beautiful, intimate, sensitive and disturbing. Runs til end of September.

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