Tamara de Lempicka
- Tamara de Lempicka
- Les Jeunes filles
- Signed DE LEMPICKA (lower right)
- Oil on panel
Walter Haas, Switzerland (acquired by 1982)
Private Collection, United States
Barry Friedman Ltd., New York (acquired by 1983)
Acquired from the above in 1990
Los Angeles, Hollywood American Legion Post, Tamara, 1984, no. 17
Rome, Accademia di Francia (Villa Medici) & Montreal, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Tamara de Lempicka: Tra eleganza e trasgressione, 1994, illustrated in color in the catalogue (no. 31 in Rome & no. 28 in Montreal)
Iza Zaslawsaka, "Tamara de Lempicka" in Kobieta Wspolczesna, Warsaw, July 20, 1932, illustrated p. 752
Marc Vaux, Lempicka Collection, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, 1972, no. 64, n.p.
Germain Bazin & Hiroyuki Itsuki, Tamara de Lempicka, Tokyo, 1980, no. 28, illustrated n.p.
Federico Zeri, "Tamara sesso e pittura" in La Stampa, December 13, 1987, illustrated n.p.
Baroness Kizette de Lempicka-Foxhall & Charles Phillips, Passion by Design, The Art and Times of Tamara de Lempicka, New York, 1987, illustrated in color p. 91
Ellen Thormann, Tamara de Lempicka, Kunstkritik und Künstlerinnen in Paris, Berlin, 1993, no. 52, listed p. 220
Gilles Néret, Tamara de Lempicka, 1898-1980, Cologne, 1991, illustrated in color p. 32
Alain Blondel, Tamara de Lempicka, Catalogue Raisonné 1921-1979, Lausanne, 1999, no. B.128, illustrated in color p. 214
Patrick Bade, Tamara de Lempicka, New York, 2006, illustrated in color p.49
In pioneering her own distinct style, Lempicka absorbed a great variety of elements from the avant-garde art movements of her time – the geometric aesthetic and fragmented perspective of Cubism, the vibrant color palette of the Fauves, the proportionality of Neo-Classicism, the dynamic lines of Futurists, the dream-like spatial logic of Surrealism and the razor-sharp draughtsmanship and hyper-realism of the Neue Sachlichkeits in central Europe – blending these styles and influences with her love of the Italian Old Masters to an extraordinary effect. As Magdeleine Dayot wrote, the paintings are a “curious blend of extreme modernism and classical purity that attracts and surprises, and provokes, perhaps even before conquering completely, a sort of cerebral struggle where these very different tendencies fight with each other until the moment the gaze grasps the great harmony that reigns in these opposites” (quoted in G. Mori, Tamara de Lempicka: The Queen of Modern, Milan, 2011, p. 21). While Lempicka frequently acknowledges her indebtedness to the Italian Renaissance and how the style of the Old Masters and Italian Manneriests profoundly impacted the development of her unique artistic style, equally important to her as an artist were the aesthetic forces of her era – the cult of the machine and the American film industry. The Machine age aesthetic with its linear qualities and smooth surfaces permeated the Western World in the nineteenth century, coating it in a metallic sheen. Borrowing from the chrome and enamel feel of the time, Lempicka’s works, with their exceptional technical quality, are rendered with imperceptible brushstrokes. Enthralled with the mystique and enamored by the modern glamour of Hollywood, it is no accident that the models in her portraits often resemble film icons from the early days of Hollywood’s golden age. With its characteristic razor-sharp draughtsmanship, theatrical lighting and sensual modeling, Les Jeunes filles demonstrates the ways in which Lempicka’s portraits are unlike those of any other artist of her day.