After living for much of her childhood in Argentina, Maar returned to Paris to study art, hanging out in cafes frequented by the likes of André Breton and Henri Cartier-Bresson. It was, in fact, the latter who advised her to focus on photography.
Maar was naturally drawn to Paris’ surrealists as much for their political ideologies as for their artistic innovations and attached her signature to anti-fascist manifestoes. And it was Maar, together with her friend Paul Éluard, who persuaded Picasso against anti-fascism. It is said, in fact, that their discussions on the subject led Picasso to paint Guernica, one of the most famous anti-war works of the 20th century. He invited Maar to document the painting's production and the two became lovers.
(Detail) Dora Maar. Liberty, 1936 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2019
Maar’s legacy as a creative force has been eclipsed by her relationship with Picasso. He treated her terribly, even pitting her in a fight against his other lover Marie-Thérèse Walter, whose pregnancy ended his marriage to Olga Khokhlova. The abuse she suffered, along with the affects of the second world war, would see Maar suffer a breakdown, and eventually withdraw from public life.
Maar became the subject of several of Picasso’s paintings, including, most famously The Weeping Woman, but she was much more than a muse and an abused lover. This exhibition will seek to do for her reputation what the Barbican did this summer for Lee Krasner’s – that is to extract Maar from a man's shadow and establish her an artistic powerhouse in her own right.
|What||Dora Maar exhibition, Tate Modern|
|Where||Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Southwark (underground)|
20 Nov 19 – 15 Mar 20, Open daily 10.00 – 18.00 and until 22.00 on Friday and Saturday
|Website||Click here for more information|