MONDAY 18 NOVEMBER 2019
Gertrude Stein and her circle – bohemian Paris
Gertrude Stein was an American Jewish intellectual, and a ‘stream-of-consciousness’ writer, whose heart was always in Paris. A truly dazzling array of painters, sculptors, writers, choreographers, dancers, and composers – Russians, Spaniards, Germans, Americans, French and Italians all crushed into her tiny ‘Pavilion’ on the Rue de Fleurus on Saturday nights. It was the only place to see works by the young Turks, who were breaking all the rules of western art. She was, herself, subversive by nature and this led her to buying work from the most avant-garde figures of the time and by doing so, she kept them alive and made a market for them. Sarah Stein and her brother Michael particularly championed Matisse while Gertrude’s relationship with Pablo Picasso is legendary, as is his Cubist portrait of her (1906). The Stein’s collection finally comprised 110 Picassos, 75 works by Matisse and a large number of works by Cézanne, Renoir, Juan Gris and others. It is a tragedy that her relationship with her brother broke down and finally the collection was dispersed.
Gertrude Stein was a focal point, bringing together the influences and events that caused the cross-fertilization of Modernist ideas that were so shockingly new in the pre-First War years; and she lived to see their impact on a fragile post-war world.
Hilary Guise lectures in the main museums in London for American universities and has toured widely in the USA and lectured for the Smithsonian Institution. She has also worked for the Art Fund, taught courses for Cambridge University and has been a guest speaker on cruises. Hilary trained as a painter at Central St Martin’s and she exhibits abroad, most recently in Berlin and France. Hilary lives, currently, in London and in Provence.