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Marie TOYEN

Marie TOYEN

1902–1980, Czech Republic/France

Also known as: Cerminova

Name Marie TOYEN
Birth 1902, Czech Republic
Died 1980, France
Lived & Active In 1947, Paris, France

Marie Cerminova was born in 1902 in Prague. It seems that she was keen not to let us to know about her upbringing and early life. So we know little or nothing of what she was like as a girl; which schools she was educated at; who her parents were and where they all lived when Marie was young. We know she lived with her sister during the early years of her life, but we know nothing of other brothers and sisters.

When she was seventeen years old she started to study at Prague’s School of Crafts and Design. Then, in 1922 she entered the world of art. That was the year her studies ended and she met her artistic soul-mate, Jiri Styrsky, while on holiday on the island of Korcula in Yugoslavia. Together, they were soon accepted as members of an influential group called “Devetsil” (“Nine Forces”), formed in 1920 by avant-gardes architects, painters, sculptors, collagist, film makers, designers and writers in the newly created Czech Republic. Her first exhibition was held at the Second exhibition of Devetsil in November-December 1923. Her seven works, painted in 1922-23 were shown there under her pseudonym of TOYEN.

There are many explanations for the origin of this name. It may have been from Citoyen without the first two letters. Or it could have been a play with a few of the letters of the alphabet written down on a coffeehouse napkin by poet Jaroslav Seifert and rearranged shortly before her first exhibition, where she did not want to be exhibited under her own name. Nevertheless, the genderless name of Toyen was born and the name Marie Cerminova slowly disappeared into the unknown.

Toyen’s first trip of to the painter’s heaven, France, was undertaken at the end of 1924. She spent most of the time on the Cote d´Azur, where she probably formed her view of the country she would in the future be so much part off. Toyen’s creativity started to take her in many different directions. She liked designing dust jackets for Czech books together with Styrsky, but also experimented with different styles of painting such as primitivism which was soon to be replaced by a lyrical-abstractive way of expression. Later on, she and Styrsky started to call their Expressionism for Artificialism. Toyens first exhibition in France was as early as in December 1925 at an exhibition called L´Art d´aujourd´hui.

Toyen and Styrsky continued with painting, poetry, design and artistic proclamations until they met Andre Breton and Paul Eluard when these two giants of Surrealism visited the Czech Republic. Later, during their visits to Paris, Toyen and Styrsky were influenced by Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, Salvador Dali, Marcel Duchamp and Claude Cahun. When the first surrealist group outside France was founded in Prague in 1934, Toyen and Styrsky were the initiators.

Toyen´s first exhibition with the Surrealists was at Galerie Aux Quatre Chemins in Paris in December 1935. Thus Toyen entered the European forum of Surrealistic Art. Her exhibitions were numerous, challenging and, if one looks at her pictures, breathtaking.

She exhibited in London and Prague in 1936; Prague, Tokyo and then Prague again in 1937; Paris, Prague, Amsterdam in 1938 and New York in 1939. At the second Prague Surrealist Exhibition in 1938, Toyen presented all her latest paintings. These were difficult years, characterised by one of the participants as “one of the last manifestations of free spirit in art”. Exhibitions and the creative process of art gave the participants a final opportunity to criticize both Fascism and Stalinism at the same time. The conflict between avant-garde art production and the official ideology of the two totalitarian systems was exposed by l´enfant terrible of the Czech, modernist avant-gard, Karel Teige, who pointed out the similarities between the Fascist criticism of enartade kunst and the Stalinist criticism of wicked formalism. It was at this time the left wing artists in the surrealist movement tried to dismantle the Surrealist group of Czech artist when pressured to do so by the Czech Communist Party.

The Second World War was a time of strife in occupied Prague. Toyen’s lifelong friend, creative inspiration and partner, Jindrich Styrsky, died in Mars 1942. At about this time she decided to hide a young poet, Jindrich Heisler, in her one room flat. Jindrich had decided not to turn himself in to the Germans who were rounding up non-Arians for transportation east. Jindrich Heisler lived in Toyen´s bathroom for the entire war thus saving his life. Then Toyen turned forty, a fact that gave birth to the “Life starts at Forty” booklet produced as a samizdat by her Surrealist friends.

After the liberation, a month-long exhibition of Toyen’s works, produced during the previous five years, was held in Prague. The most famous of these paintings are Shooting Range and Go and hide you, war.

In 1947, due to rising political tension in the Czech Republic, Toyen decided to emigrate to France together with Jindrich Heisler. Both immediately became members of the Parisian Surrealist group which perhaps Toyen thought would help them adapt to a new life. Sadly though, life outside her beloved Prague was difficult for Toyen.

Shortly after the death of André Breton, Toyen moved from the Hôtel de la Paix into his old atelier at rue Fontaine. When the Paris surrealist group dissolved itself in 1969, Toyen went into seclusion, keeping contact with only a few close friends. At the end of her life Toyen turned her energy into making collages instead of paintings.

Toyen died in 1980. She is buried at the Batignolles cementery in Paris where Jindrich Hessler, André Breton and Benjamin Péret are also buried.

Source: http://www.conchamayordomo.com/es/node/219

Toyen - Maria Cerminova

Maria Cerminova nació en Praga en 1902, y estudió en la Escuela de Artes Decorativas de Praga entre 1919 y 1922. Casi nada se sabe de su infancia ni su adolescencia; ella misma evitaba hablar de esos periodos de su biografía, hasta tal punto que negaba tener vínculos familiares. Su carrera comenzó hacia 1918 y siguió con una activa participación en los movimientos de vanguardia de entreguerras en Praga y París.

En 1922 conoció al pintor, fotógrafo y poeta Jindrich Stirsky (1899-1942), al que se unió en una relación de veinte años durante la cual trabajaron en colaboración, realizando unas obras que a veces son difíciles de atribuir a uno u otra, aunque nunca realizaron un cuadro en común. Sus obras se complementan, tanto en el plano formal como en el expresivo. Juntos formaron parte del grupo vanguardista Devetsil y frecuentaron los círculos anarquistas y comunistas.

Fué en 1923 cuando adoptó el pseudónimo Toyen que es una abreviatura de la palabra francesa "citoyen" (ciudadano) para reivindicar su paridad con los hombres, tanto en el plano artístico como en el personal. La elección de este pseudónimo se acompañaba de su costumbre de referirse a sí misma usando el género masculino, así como al uso frecuente de ropa.

En 1925 el tandem Stirsky-Toyen se trasladó a París, donde desarrollaron el "Artifiacialismo" y participaron en diversas exposiciones colectivas e individuales. Durante esos años, Toyen ilustró varios libros y revistas, con dibujos que tienen una fuerte carga erótica, como los realizados para una edición de Justine ou les infortunes de la vertu (Justineó los infortunios de la virtud), del Marqués de Sade, del Heptameron, o sus colaboraciones en la Eroticka Revue. De regreso a Praga comenzó su transición al surrealismo y fué una de los fundadores del núcleo surrealista de Praga, en 1934.

En 1935, André Breton y Benjamin Pèret viajaron a Praga, y en junio, Toyen volvió a encontrarse con ellos en París. Desde entonces, Toyen estuvo presente en prácticamente todas las exposiciones internacionales surrealistas -Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1935; Londres, 1936; Tokio, 1937; Paris 1938; Amsterdam, 1938...

Desde 1939, y durante los cuatro años que duró la ocupación alemana de Checoslovaquia, Toyen mantuvo su compromiso político y artístico. Siguió trabajando en una tendencia, el surrealismo, que era perseguido como un "arte degenerado" por el régimen nazi, por lo que se vio obligada a crear en la clandestinidad, sin posibilidad de presentar sus obras en público.

Pero el fin de la guerra no significó sino una libertad temporal, ya que los comunistas en Checoslovaquia se preparaban a tomar el poder. Jindrich Stirsky había muerto en Praga, en 1942, y Toyen, que durante la ocupación había manifestado un gran coraje, escondiendo en su apartamento al poeta Jindrich Heisler, de origen judío, tuvo que exiliarse en 1947 a París, con la autorización de expatriar la obra de Stirsky y la suya propia. Nunca volvió a su país.

En París, Toyen reanudó los lazos de profunda amistad con André Breton, Benjamin Péret, Radovan Ivsic, Annie Le Brun y otros destacados representantes del surrealismo francés.

Source: http://www.conchamayordomo.com/es/node/218

Elle fait ses études à l'École des arts et métiers de Prague. En 1922, elle rencontre J. Štyrský, dont elle partagera le destin artistique. En 1925, ils s'installent pour quatre ans à Paris, où ils participent la même année à l'exposition « l'Art d'aujourd'hui ». En 1923, elle adhère au groupe d'avant-garde Devětsil. Ses premières recherches partent du cubisme. En 1925, Toyen s'engage avec Štyrský dans la voie de l'« artificialisme », qui se veut une peinture poétique. Cette période donne des œuvres aussi variées que le Toboggan (1926, musée de Prague), qui représente une tendance vers l'abstraction géométrique, la Fata morgana (1926, Hluboká, Gal. Alès), où la couleur s'émancipe, le sujet du tableau n'étant suggéré que par quelques signes sobres, la Fumée de cigarette (1927), faite d'un tissu immatériel, de lumières et d'ombres. Mais, bien vite, l'artiste abandonne ces féeries pour exprimer, à travers une pâte brute et des textures ravinées, le monde géologique soumis à l'action d'usure des eaux (le Marais, 1928). À partir de 1931, son œuvre se peuple d'objets insolites, flottant dans un espace évocateur de paysages nocturnes ou sous-marins (Gobi, 1931, musée de Hradec Kralové). Le lyrisme y fait place à la plongée dans le subconscient, d'où l'artiste ramène d'obsédantes images. En 1934, Toyen adhère au groupe des surréalistes de Tchécoslovaquie. En 1936, elle exécute, en collaboration avec Štyrský, un cycle de collages fantastiques consacrés à la mémoire du poète K. H. Mácha. Elle en retient la méthode des rapprochements fortuits d'éléments disparates (Rencontre matinale, 1937, id.). Elle sait susciter des visions troublantes par d'autres moyens : mariages suggestifs de l'irréel et du déjà-vu (la Tanière abandonnée, 1937, id.), spectres et fantômes (cycle des Fantômes du désert, 1937). L'atmosphère d'angoisse de ses œuvres ira s'amplifiant pour atteindre au paroxysme dans le cycle Cache-toi, guerre ! (1944), vision d'un monde dévasté et dépeuplé. Ce climat inquiétant se prolonge dans les œuvres d'après-guerre, où cependant résonnent des accents d'espoir, comme dans l'Avenir de la liberté (1946) ou dans le Chant du jour (1950). Installée en France après son exposition de 1947, à la gal. Denise René, Toyen a participé à toutes les expositions internationales du surréalisme.

Source: http://www.larousse.fr/encyclopedie/peinture/Toyen/154653

Frontispice Pour Antilyrique by Marie TOYEN

Frontispice Pour Antilyrique

Price EUR 6,500
Estimated EUR 1,500–2,000
Untitled by Marie TOYEN

Untitled

Price SEK 2,000 (€218)
Estimated SEK 3,000–4,000
Composition Geometrique by Marie TOYEN

Composition Geometrique (1926)

Price EUR 403,278
Estimated EUR 150,000–200,000
Portrait Of André Breton by Marie TOYEN

Portrait Of André Breton

Price SEK 17,000 (€1,697)
Estimated SEK 2,000–2,500
La Visiteuse Vertige - Les Sept épées Hors Du Fourreau by Marie TOYEN

La Visiteuse Vertige - Les Sept épées Hors Du Fourreau (1957)

Price SEK 2,200,000 (€219,560)
Estimated SEK 600,000–800,000