Creating a character who has lived earlier than myself; hasn’t had access to the internet, but only to academic research available at her time and who was further defined by her upbringing and education, provides the freedom of creating that I need for my studio-work and concept-development. However, I am a contemporary artist or the 21 century. I am consciously standing on the shoulders of uncountable artists, and want to name some of them here those whose work accompanied me over the last years of this project and whom I think of with gratitude, respect and admiration.
In order to avoid the violation of copyrights, I relinquish the use of images and leave it up to the reader to search out their works in more detail.
• Gustave Courbet (1819-1877): for his pioneering works in painting, showing women in unambigious scenes, and depicting female genitals realistically, e.g. in his painting “L’Origine du Monde” (1866) , - a work that would undergo a 122 years journey before shown to the public first time in 1988 in New York City.
• Jean Jaques Henner (1829-1905): not only for his intriguing use of sfumato in his paintings, but also for his action to open up his studio as one of the very first ones to women at the end of the 19th century in Paris.
• Madeleine Smith (1864- 1940): a student of JJ Henner whom I came across on research in France. The discovery of her and her sister’s life and legacies became the main source of historical interweaving of my fictitious story with the Smith sister’s real historic life.
• Jeanne Smith (1857-1943): Madeleine’s older sister, a woman who chose photography for her artistic endeavours, but halted later, for no reason that could be found in the family-archives. She was at times the lover of a German-Swiss painter, Ottilie Roederstein. All the photographs I ever saw of herself, show her with an expression of utter sadness. I imagine her having fallen between the gaps of tradition and emancipation, of female beauty and inner calling, living a life of comfortable social status but suffering her times’ restraints at the same time.
• Paula Moderson Becker (1876-1907): a German painter whose works I have known for decades, who dared to paint “against her training” into a raw looking, earthern and highly psychological expressive way, leaving academism for the influence of the fauves and committing her paintings to existential rural themes.
• Franz Joseph Stuck (1863-1928): for his seductive highly erotic paintings of symbolist style, and more so for his undertaking to design his own house and studio as a kind of Gesamtkunstwerk (now “Museum Villa Stuck”, Munich)
• Seraphine Louis, also known as Séraphine de Senlis (1864-1942): an art brut artist who developed her own practise from scratch (literally, involving even the production of her painting material), under very constrained economic and social circumstances, and who suffered her later years institutionalized.
• Natalie Clifford Barney (1876-1972): for her role-modeling a life of courage in her arts, love and life.
• Suzanne Valadon (1865 - 1938): for her determination to overcome her economical and social constraints, her commitment for her work against all odds, her double role as a model and a painter (she modelled also for JJ Henner) and for choosing sexual pleasures as one of her main themes for her paintings.
• Georgia O’Keeffe (1887 -1986): who’s sensual paintings very probably inspired Sophie La Rosière’s watercolours of flowers and landscapes. And on a personal note: my visit at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe in 2013 confirmed my interest how museums apply their authorities to choreograph the perceptions of the artist-personalities and their legacies for their visitors.
• Gordon Matta Clark (1943-1978): whose treatment of dwellings I perceive as a breakout from the built structure into the imagined, thereby literally opening up occupied designed and purpose-foreseen spaces for reflection.
And the following peers
• Judy Chicago
• Arnurf Rainer
• Pierre Soulages
• Ilya and Emilia Kabakov
• Janet Cardif and George Bures Miller
• Mike Nelson
• Mark Dion
• Michael Blum
• Rachel Whiteread
• …...and others
For the free-style reconstruction of a psychoanalyticer’s sofa: Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)