Dora Maar, original name Henrietta Theodora Marković, (born November 22, 1907, Paris, France—died July 16, 1997, Paris) was a French photographer, painter and Surrealist.
She was Picasso’s lover and the principal model for many of his so-called weeping women portraits in the late 1930s and early 40s.
This catalog accompanies the largest French retrospective ever devoted to Dora Maar at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, on view from 5 June 2019 to 29 July 2019.
Dora Maar is the only artist with a large portfolio of photographs preserved in the collections – Brancusi, Brassaï, Éli Lotar, Man Ray – who has not yet been the subject of a major exhibition project. Thanks to original archives and close scientific collaboration between the curatorship teams at the Centre Pompidou and the Getty Museum, the Dora Maar retrospective traces the development of this independent artist through more than four hundred works and documents: from her first commissions for fashion and advertising as a studio photographer, to her political commitments as witnessed by her street photographs, including her Surrealist activity and her meeting with Picasso.
Like her fellow female photographers, Laure Albin Guillot, Rogi André, Nora Dumas and Germaine Krull, who were active like her between the wars, Dora Maar belongs to the generation of women who liberated themselves professionally and socially through their work as photographers, a profession that was undergoing complete renewal with the development of the illustrated press and advertising.
Influenced by Surrealism, Dora Maar merged art and life, inviting Surrealists to pose in her studio at 29 rue d’Astorg, of which she had become the sole occupant, and developed strong friendships, notably with Paul Éluard and his companion Nusch. Adopting the concept of the unconscious and the quest for the inner world, Dora Maar applied her technique to multiple photomontages and enigmatic photographs such as 29, rue d’Astorg and Portrait d’Ubu and Le Simulateur, both presented in several Surrealist exhibitions from 1935 onward.
Damarice Amao and Karolina Ziebinska–Lewandowska, Exhibition curators