the visual diary of a full life revealed

The Fissure (Driving to San Andreas) 1982

the Margaret Lefranc Catalogue Raisonné is now live online

Margaret Lefranc (1907-1998) was an exceptionally talented artist whose career as a painter, illustrator, and editor spanned more than 85 years. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she created her first works of art at the age of six. Lefranc lived in Berlin with her parents from 1920 to 1922 and then in Paris during the decade between 1923 and 1933, where she studied art at the Sorbonne, the Académie André Lhote, and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. In 1935, two years after her return to the US, she founded the Guild Art Gallery in New York City. The gallery promoted several important artists; Arshile Gorky, for example, held his first New York solo exhibition there. Between 1948 and 1953, she illustrated five books for the anthropologist Alice Marriott, most notably Maria: The Potter of San Ildefonso, which received a Fifty Best Books of the Year award in 1948 from the Library of Congress (in conjunction with the American Institute of Graphic Arts).

Lefranc created portraits, landscapes, still lives, and abstract works in a variety of styles and media throughout the course of her “lifetime of imaging.” Her diverse oeuvre —a visual diary of sorts— traces her travels and the places that she called home, whether that be the Catskill Mountains, Coconut Grove, Florida, or the adobe home that she built in Nambe, New Mexico. This first installment of the online catalogue raisonné includes over 200 paintings by Lefranc that reside in the collection of the Margaret Lefranc Art Foundation. The remaining paintings — held in private and public collections (or works that are currently un-located) — will be addressed in updates to the website. Future installments will feature specific selections from Lefranc’s large body of works on paper, such as preparatory drawings, the landscapes of New Mexico and New York, book illustrations, and abstract monotypes to name a few. A chronology is also planned.

– Sandra McKenzie     President, Margaret Lefranc Art Foundation
– Melissa Kerr               Editor, Margaret Lefranc catalogue raisonné

 

Above:
Margaret Lefranc
The Fissure (Driving to San Andreas)
1982
Acrylic on canvas
24 x 36 in. (61 x 91.4 cm)
Signed lower right (in the 1990s): M. Lefranc
Margaret Lefranc Art Foundation

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