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Franciszka Themerson & UBU em Londres

julho 21, 2017

21 July – 15 September 2017
Private View 20 July 6-8pm
Richard Saltoun Gallery
111 Great Titchfield Street
London W1W 6RY
Franciszka Themerson,  Bordure, 1951, Paint on Papier Mâché, 50 x 107 x 23.5 cm. Copyright the Artist. Courtesy Richard Saltoun Gallery, London
Richard  Saltoun  Gallery  is  pleased  to  present  ​Franciszka  Themerson  &  Ubu, ​an  extraordinary  solo  exhibition of Polish artist Franciszka Themerson (1907-1988), and her first with the gallery.  
On  10th December 1896 the Theatre de l’Oeuvre in Paris staged the debut performance of a play that  stunned  and  outraged  the  audience  but  kicked  down  the  door  to  Modernism,  the  movement  that transformed 20th Century culture.
Ubu  Roi ​by  playwright ​Alfred  Jarry  was banned immediately after that first performance. The language  was foul, the costumes ridiculous, the gestures violent, and its story, a farcical parody of Shakespeare’s Macbeth​. ​Ubu was the first play in history to draw attention to the artificiality of theatre conventions and reject 19th century methods for creating the illusion of the real.
Franciska  Themerson  spent  most  of  her  artistic  mid-life  immersed  in an obsession with ​Ubu​. In 1948,  impassioned  by  the  seminal  cultural  importance  of  Jarry’s  play,  she  and  her  husband  and  lifelong collaborator Stefan, published the first ever English translation of ​Ubu Roi​ on Gaberbocchus Press.
Jarry’s  slapstick,  clown-like imagery marked an affinity with Themerson, whose paintings and drawings  were similarly crude and comic, often mocking social stereotypes and classes. The published translation was a phenomenal success. In 1951 London’s ICA held a groundbreaking performance where actors sat at  a  long  table  and  recited  the  script,  whilst  wearing  elaborately  grotesque  theatrical  papier-mâché  masks  made  by  Themerson.  A  decade  later  she  designed  a  puppet  production  of  the  play  at Marionetteatern,  Stockholm,  where  the  characters  morphed  into  disturbing  life  sized  puppets carrying  wooden flat cut-out ‘body-masks’, reminiscent of Dadaist costume. The play toured globally for 20 years and was made into a film.
These 13 bizarre and fabulous original ​papier-mâché masks together with film, historical  images  and  documentation  will  be  on  full  display  in  the  exhibition  together  with  comic  strip  drawings, works on paper, collages, photographs and theatre posters.
catalogue will be published in conjunction with the exhibition and available to purchase.


julho 21, 2017
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