Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Gertrude O'Brady

Balloon, c. 1940

I found this artist in a 1979 book called 'Naive Painting' published by Phaidon. Gertrude O'Brady was an American pianist who travelled in Europe and ended up staying in Paris for health treatments. She was eventually interned in Vittel concentration camp by the Nazis. She survived and carried on painting for a little while, before losing interest and disappearing from the historical record. Not much is on the web about her; her entire career lasted only a decade. Her paintings are hallucinatory and strangely mournful. Those faded stratospheres under the balloon, like a nuclear after-glow. I wish there was a book collecting her work somewhere, and that I owned it. Maybe a trip to the British Library is in order.

Balloon c. 1940

Le Théâtre Hébertot, 1946

1 comment:

Melissa M said...

Reminds me a bit of Roger Brown, who was a Chicago artist whose backgrounds also look a lot like nuclear afterglow or apocalyptic twilight to me.