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A lthough collected by Jack Nicholson, Barbra Streisand, and Madonna, T a m a r a d e L e m p i c k a ' s renown has largely been limited to insiders and devotees of the Deco era, a side note in art history to the global art market. But all that changed in the flurry of one auction night in London last February, when a canvas that offered a glamorous ode to a Parisian cabaret chanteuse, Portrait de Marjorie Ferry (1932), sold for $21.1 million. The sale propelled de Lempicka into the stratosphere and made her work number eight among the top 10 Impressionist and modern lots sold in 2020. Her subject, the smoldering English beauty Marjorie Ferry, is portrayed in a silver-and- gray cubistic interior bisected by phallic columns, wearing a shimmery satin evening gown that spills off her shoulders. The image became emblematic for 2020's heady art marketplace and was used as the lead for Artnet's Best- Seller Lists. The only woman on the list, she came in ahead of Pissarro and Giacometti and a few million below a pair of Magrittes. Nonetheless, mention Tamara de Lempicka, and nine out of 10 people will draw a blank. But provide a visual clue — "The woman in the green Bugatti" — and most will immediately recognize a painting that's iconic on the level of portraits of Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup cans, and Georgia O'Keeffe's flowers. The Houston chapter of Tamara de Lempicka, an unconventional beauty with outsized talent matched to her time — the brash Machine Age — is one that prefigures Instagram and outdoes Hollywood. She was an artfully choreographed, crowd- stopping presence in a cloud of perfume, with crimson lips and nails, attired in Madame Grès and Schiaparelli. This article came about because of a chance encounter at Anya Tish Gallery a year ago. There I met Victoria de Lempicka, an elegant woman who was surprisingly down-to-earth despite her famous grandmother, Tamara. Victoria was friends with Tish due to their twin connections of Polish lineage and love for art; the gallerist introduced us. T amara Rosalia Gurwik- Gorska — born in Warsaw, the middle child of three at the dawn of the 20th century — began an artist's life during a pampered childhood when she rejected a portrait of herself her mother had commissioned and demonstrated how it should be done by drawing a likeness of her younger sister. A grand tour as a young teen followed, with stops in glittering Monte Carlo, then on to Italy to bask in museums in Venice, Rome, and The TumulTuous World of The grande dame of Art Deco, Tamara de Lempicka, has been rediscovered — again. Catherine D. Anspon considers the legacy of the artist, who called Paris, Italy, Hollywood, New York, Houston, and Mexico home, and which reads like a sweeping novel of the 20th century: a gilded life, scandals, bravery, jewels, escape from the Bolsheviks and the Nazis, escapades with both sexes, a titled marriage. PaperCity talks with the keepers of the flame — the artist's granddaughter Victoria de Lempicka of Houston, and great-granddaughter, Marisa de Lempicka of Aspen — for tales of Tamara, including her years in Houston. All ImAges Courtesy And © the tAmArA de lempICkA estAte, llC xxxxxxxx Artist tAmArA de LempickA: housTon ChapTer PORTRAITS GERARDO VELAzquEz. HAIR AND MAKEuP TONYA RINER. PHOTOGRAPHED AT MOxIE. Tamara de Lempicka, circa 1934 73

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