As co-curator of the most comprehensive exhibition of Salomon’s work to date (held to great acclaim at the Royal Academy of Art in 1998), Monica Bohm-Duchen had the privilege of gaining an intimate knowledge of an extraordinary, but still today insufficiently well-known work of art. Life or Theatre? A Play with Music is a fictionalized autobiography created by the Berlin-born Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon (1917-43) while in exile in the South of France in 1940-2. Comprising nearly 800 small gouaches, incorporating literary, musical and even cinematic references, this remarkable artwork tells the story of a life lived in the shadow of a family history of suicide and of Nazi persecution, and paradoxically became the means for Salomon to assert the power of life and creativity over death and destruction.
In the series:
May 16: Life or Theatre? Charlotte Salomon
June 27: Not So Gentle? War and Conflict in the Work of Henry Moore
July 5: Surrealist Subjects or Surrealist Objects? The Position of Women in the Surrealist Movement
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