Jacqueline Lamba

1910Saint-Mandé, France | 1993Rochecorbon, France

French painter and decorator.

Orphaned at a young age, Jacqueline Lamba began life as an independent artist after having studied decorative and fine arts. She was a decorator in the Trois-Quartiers department store, and then became a dancer at the Coliséum in Pigalle. She published photographs, painted watercolors, and created surrealist objects. In 1934 she married André Breton, with whom she had a daughter, and participated in exhibitions in Paris, London, and New York. In 1938, during a trip to Mexico, she met Frida Kahlo, and began a long friendship with the artist. At the start of World War II, she took refuge with Dora Maar and Picasso, then at the home of Marie Cuttoli. In 1941, she and Breton left for the United States. Shortly thereafter she separated from him “in order to paint”, and to share part of her life with David Hare, a painter and sculptor with whom she later had a son.

She participated in two exhibitions at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century gallery in New York, including the “Exhibition by 31 Women” in 1943. It was in 1944, on the occasion of her first solo exhibition at the Norlyst Gallery, that she published a Manifeste de Peinture (A Painting Manifesto). After returning to France, she exhibited at the Maeght gallery and at the Pierre Loeb Gallery. In 1951, she frequently visited Pablo Picasso, Francoise Gilot, Alberto Giacometti, and Claude Cahun, finally settling permanently in Paris. In 1966 she campaigned against the installation of nuclear missiles on the Plateau d’Albion, as well as the expansion of the Larzac military camp. Her last exhibition was held at the Picasso museum in 1967, and was inaugurated by Yves Bonnefoy. Light, movement, and nature were her sources of inspiration, as demonstrated in Ciels (“Skies” 1974), Fleurs d’eau (“Water Flowers” 1978), as well as numerous canvases of the village Simiane-la-Rotonde in the Vaucluse region where she had settled.

Joëlle Guimier

Translated from French by Emily Freeman.

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
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