Abraham Walkowitz- Paintings and drawings of Isadora Duncan.

« These two American modernists, painter Abraham Walkowitz and dancer Isadora Duncan, born in the same year (1878), both artists influenced the development of modern art in the early twentieth century by blending figurative gesture with abstraction. Duncan grew up in a free-spirited and artistic household in California and then moved to Europe. Walkowitz immigrated to the United States from Russia when he was a child and lived most of his life in New York City, where he studied at Cooper Union School and the National Academy of Design.

Walkowitz and Duncan met in 1906 in Paris at the studio of the sculptor Auguste Rodin. Deeply impressed by Duncan’s musicality and expressivity, Abraham Walkowitz’s obsession with the celebrated modern dancer Isadora Duncan sets him apart from the others. Over his lifetime it is believed that he created five thousand images of her, dancing . Because Walkowitz’s renderings of Duncan were produced quickly, they carry an element of improvisational vitality that matches the dynamic energy of her presence onstage. In her introductory essay, author Ann Cooper Albright weaves literary theory, art criticism, and dance history into a fluid narrative to explore how Walkowitz’s drawings realize Duncan’s dancing on paper. Modern Gestures reproduces over fifty watercolors of this unique oeuvre, many of which have never before been published.«  From Ann Cooper Albright  « Modern Gestures: Abraham Walkowitz Draws Isadora Duncan Dancing  » . Ed° Wesleyan ,  2010 

Walkowitz explained, “She was a Muse. She had no laws. She didn’t dance according to rules. She created. Her body was music.” 
When Duncan saw an exhibition of the artist’s work in 1916, she commented: “Walkowitz, you have written my biography in lines without words.”


Abraham Walkowitz's The studio 8 East 23rd Street New York; the picture was taken the year of 1908.(Uncredited)

Abraham Walkowitz’s The studio 8 East 23rd Street New York; the picture was taken the year of 1908.(Uncredited)

Abraham Walkowitz- Isadora Duncan, 3 colored crayon, watercolor, ink and graphite on paper, 1915

Abraham Walkowitz- Isadora Duncan, 3 colored crayon, watercolor, ink and graphite on paper, 1915

Abraham Walkowitz- Isadora Duncan, Leaning Over Watercolor and pen and black ink over graphite on cream wove paper , Nd

Abraham Walkowitz- Isadora Duncan, Leaning Over Watercolor and pen and black ink over graphite on cream wove paper , Nd

Abraham Walkowitz- Isadora Duncan, Leaning Right Watercolor and pen and black ink over graphite on off-white wove paper

Abraham Walkowitz- Isadora Duncan, Leaning Right Watercolor and pen and black ink over graphite on off-white wove paper

Abraham Walkowitz- Isadora Duncan Eight Watercolors each, watercolor, ink and pencil on paper

Abraham Walkowitz- Isadora Duncan Eight Watercolors each, watercolor, ink and pencil on paper

Abraham Walkowitz- Isadora Duncan, Isadora Duncan Dancing, ink and watercolor on paper

Abraham Walkowitz- Isadora Duncan, Isadora Duncan Dancing, ink and watercolor on paper

Abraham Walkowitz- Isadora Duncan, Isadora Duncan Dancing, ink and watercolor on paper, © Hunter Museum

Abraham Walkowitz- Isadora Duncan, Dancing, ink and watercolor on paper, © Reynolda House Museum of American Art © Abraham Walkowitz

Abraham Walkowitz- Isadora Duncan, Dancing, ink and watercolor on paper, © Reynolda House Museum of American Art © Abraham Walkowitz

Abraham Walkowitz - Isadora Duncan Dancing, ink and watercolor on paper

Abraham Walkowitz – Isadora Duncan Dancing, ink and watercolor on paper

Abraham Walkowitz, Isadora Duncan , Nd pen and ink, watercolor and pencil on paper © American Art Museum,

Abraham Walkowitz, Isadora Duncan , Nd pen and ink, watercolor and pencil on paper © American Art Museum,

Abraham Walkowitz, Isadora Duncan , Nd pen and ink, watercolor and pencil on paper © American Art Museum

Abraham Walkowitz, Isadora Duncan , Nd pen and ink, watercolor and pencil on paper © American Art Museum

Abraham Walkowitz, Isadora Duncan , 1909 pencil and pen and ink on paper © American Art Museum

Abraham Walkowitz, Isadora Duncan , 1909 pencil and pen and ink on paper © American Art Museum

Abraham Walkowitz, Isadora Duncan 1916 charcoal on paper © American Art Museum (2)

Abraham Walkowitz, Isadora Duncan 1916 charcoal on paper © American Art Museum (2)

Lecture  : Modern Gestures: Abraham Walkowitz Draws Isadora Duncan Dancing

Arnold Genthe- Isadora Duncan

 

Arnold Genthe -Isadora Duncan ,1910s

Arnold Genthe -Isadora Duncan ,1910s

Duncan, Isadora  by Arnold Genthe.,1916  [Irma Duncan Collection.]

Duncan, Isadora by Arnold Genthe.,1916 [Irma Duncan Collection.]

Duncan, Isadora  by Arnold Genthe ,1916.[ collection Mary Fanton Roberts.]

Duncan, Isadora by Arnold Genthe ,1916.[ collection Mary Fanton Roberts.]

 

 

 

Arnold Genthe- an Isadora Duncan’s dancers , 1915

Arnold Genthe- an Isadora Duncan's dancers  , 1915

Arnold Genthe- an Isadora Duncan’s dancers , 1915

Isadora Duncan (1877 – 1927)

Elle dansait pieds nus, refusait le mariage, méprisait les conformismes, entendait vivre libre et “sans limites” selon sa devise. Véritable provocatrice, passionnée, audacieuse, bohème, Isadora Duncan a révolutionné la danse, bousculé les conventions de la danse classique académique dont elle rejetait les codes et les règles strictes en prônant une danse inspirée par la mythologie grecque et un retour à la symbiose du corps et de la nature. Vêtue de tuniques selon la mode de la Grèce Antique, Isadora a créé un style chorégraphique basé sur l’improvisation. “Une relation permanente, absolue et universelle, unit la forme au mouvement ; c’est là l’unique grand principe sur lequel je prétends m’appuyer car une même unité rythmique court à travers toutes les manifestations de la nature. L’eau, le vent, les plantes, les êtres vivants, les particules de la matière elle-même obéissent à ce ryhtme souverain dont la ligne principielle est  l’ondoiement. la nature ne suggère nulle part des sauts ou des ruptures, il existe entre tous les états de la vie une continuité, un courant que le danseur doit respecter dans son art s’il ne veut pas devenir un pantin dénué de toute beauté. Chercher dans la nature les formes les plus belles et découvrir le mouvement qui exprime l’âme de ces formes, voilà la mission du danseur.” (1916, extrait du livre, La Danse de l’avenir, Isadora Duncan, éditions Complexe, 2003) Véritable prêtresse de la modernité, elle n’a jamais caché son attirance pour le communisme  et la révolution russe en dansant sur l’Etude révolutionnaire de Chopin vêtue d’une tunique rouge. Elle a même tenté d’ouvrir une école populaire à Berlin, puis Paris et Moscou. Mais  de sa vie entre les studios d’artistes de Londres, Paris, Berlin, en passant par la Grèce et des voyages en forme d’épopée antique et les grands palaces, ses amours difficiles et torturés avec l’acteur anglais Craig Gordon, le milliardaire paris Singer ou encore le poète Serge Essenine, on ne retient finalement de sa vie que sa fin tragique. Celle que l’on surnommait “Isadorable” est morte le 14 septembre 1927 dans une Bugatti, étranglée par son écharpe. “La liberté de la femme” “Si mon art devait être symbolique de quelque chose, ce serait de la liberté de la femme et de son émancipation vis-à-vis des préjugés qui sont la lice et la trame du puritanisme de la Nouvelle-Angleterre. Exposer son corps est un geste artistique, le dissimuler revient à commettre une vulgarité. Lorsque je danse, je ne fais pas appel aux instincts les plus bas de l’humanité comme le font, aux spectacles de variétés, vos filles à demi-nues. (…) La nudité est authentique, c’est de la beauté, c’est de l’art. C’est pourquoi elle ne peut jamais être ni vulgaire ni immorale. Si ce n’était pour avoir chaud, je ne porterais jamais de vêtements. Mon corps est le temple de mon art. (…) Le corps est beau, il est réel, il est vrai, il est libre. Il devrait susciter la vénération, non la répugnance car l’artiste est tout entier, corps et âme, dévoué à l’art. Quand je danse, je me sers de mon corps comme un musicien de son instrument, un peintre de sa palette et de ses pinceaux ou comme un poète des images issues de son imagination. Parce que je veux fondre mon image et mon corps en une seule et même image de beauté, je refuse de m’envelopper dans des vêtements gênants, de m’entraver les membres ou de couvrir la gorge. (…)”

Isadora Duncan 1922, {extrait du livre, La Danse de l’avenir, Isadora Duncan, éditions Complexe, 2003, pp. 104-105.}

tous  les articles sur Isadora

Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929) Isadora, 1909, Plume et encre violette sur papier vélin_e

Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929) Isadora, 1909, Plume et encre violette sur papier vélin_e

Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929) Isadora, 1909, Plume et encre violette sur papier vélin

Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929) Isadora, 1909, Plume et encre violette sur papier vélin

Anonyme -Isadora sur la plage à Venise, 1903 -1905

Anonyme -Isadora sur la plage à Venise, 1903 -1905

Jean Limet- Isadora Duncan danse en l’honneur de Rodin, 30 juin 1903

Jean Limet- Isadora Duncan danse en l’honneur de Rodin, 30 juin 1903

Emile Antoine Bourdelle – Isadora Duncan, 1910s

Emile Antoine Bourdelle – Isadora Duncan, 1910s

Raymond Duncan (1874-1966),Isadora dansant au Parthénon, 1904

Raymond Duncan (1874-1966),Isadora dansant au Parthénon, 1904

Studio Elvira -Isadora Duncan, 1903

Studio Elvira -Isadora Duncan, 1903

Hof-Atelier Elvira, München- Isadora Duncan,1904 Irma Duncan Collection

Hof-Atelier Elvira, München- Isadora Duncan,1904 Irma Duncan Collection

Paul Berger- Isadora Duncan, 1908

Paul Berger- Isadora Duncan, 1908

Statuette de W. Schott -Isadora Duncan, (photogrphy no credit given.)

Statuette de W. Schott -Isadora Duncan, (photogrphy no credit given.)

Isadora Duncan, {photograph, no credit give}

Isadora Duncan, {photograph, no credit give}

Duncan, Isadora - cabinet photograph by Gessford.  [Irma Duncan Collection.] (1908)

Duncan, Isadora – cabinet photograph by Gessford. [Irma Duncan Collection.] (1908)

Bruwn brothers – Isadora Duncan, 1899

Bruwn brothers – Isadora Duncan, 1899

Bruwn brothers – Isadora Duncan, 1899 tryptique

Bruwn brothers – Isadora Duncan, 1899 tryptique

Edward Steichen (1879-1973) -Isadora Duncan sous le portique du Parthénon à Athènes, 1920 Toulon, musée d’Art

Edward Steichen (1879-1973) -Isadora Duncan sous le portique du Parthénon à Athènes, 1920 Toulon, musée d’Art

Otto- Duncan, Isadora Duncan with her children, Deirdre,1912 Irma Duncan Collection.

Otto- Duncan, Isadora Duncan with her children, Deirdre,1912 Irma Duncan Collection.

Studio Apeda- Isadora Duncan’s pupils and adopted daughters, Irma, Anna and Erica Duncan, known as the Isadorables, 1916

Studio Apeda- Isadora Duncan’s pupils and adopted daughters, Irma, Anna and Erica Duncan, known as the Isadorables, 1916

Arnold Genthe. – The “Isadorables,” students of Isadora Duncan, 1916

Arnold Genthe – The “Isadorables,” students of Isadora Duncan, 1916

Arnold Genthe- The “Isadorables,” students of Isadora Duncan 1917  Irma Duncan Collection.

Arnold Genthe- The “Isadorables,” students of Isadora Duncan 1917 Irma Duncan Collection.

Studio Apeda- Isadora Duncan dancers, 1917

Studio Apeda- Isadora Duncan dancers, 1917

Studio Apeda- The Isadorables, students of Isadora Duncan, circa 1917

Studio Apeda- The Isadorables, students of Isadora Duncan, circa 1917

Edward Steichen- The Russian Pupils of Isadora Duncan - Reaching Upward , 1929

Edward Steichen- The Russian Pupils of Isadora Duncan – Reaching Upward , 1929

Edward Steichen-The Russian Pupils of Isadora Duncan - Circular Arrangement ,1929

Edward Steichen-The Russian Pupils of Isadora Duncan – Circular Arrangement ,1929

Duncan was born in the United States but lived in Western Europe for the majority of her life, and essentially formed the basis of American Modern Dance. In a time when the traditional forms of dance and movement, particularly when it cam to ballet, were heavily indoctrinated, Duncan broke free by emphasising dance that was in touch and comfortable with the body and performed in unrestricted clothing and/or barefoot.

Duncan began dancing at a young age when her and her sisters taught dancing lessons to San-Franciscan children in order to bring in money for their mother who had divorced their father in 1880. When she was 22 she decided to move to London and then France and within two years she was beginning to make a name for herself. In 1909 she had enough money to open up her own dance school in a two story apartment which is also where she lived. Duncan’s theory for dance incoporated a much less institutionalised methodology as she focused on free and natural movements inspired by Ancient Greek Dance, folk dancing, nature and natural forces and incorporated an American emphasis on athleticism.

By 1924, after a brief stint in Moscow and a few years performing in and around Europe, Duncan opened up three new dancing schools: one in Grunewald (Germany), one in Paris and one in Moscow.

Duncan was very radical for a woman caught in the turn of the century. She was a fan of Communism, bisexual and had two children out of wedlock and to different men. Her daughter Dierdre (born September 24, 1906) and her son Patrick (May 1, 1910) both died in a car crash in 1913. Not long after it was rumoured that Duncan was in a relationship with Eleanor Duse (an Italian actress), something that has never been proven. In 1922 she married a Russian poet, Sergei Yesenin who was 18 years younger than her. His alcoholism brought her negative publicity and a year after they married he was institutionalised in a mental hospital, commiting suicide in 1925.

Duncan’s money troubles, alcoholism and scandalous love life are said to be the cause of her diminishing talent later in life as she moved from hotel to hotel across Paris and the Mediterranean, running up huge debts.

Duncan died on September 14, 1927. She was a passenger in a car driven by her rumoured lover, Benoît Falchetto a French/Italian mechanic. Duncan was always fond of long scarves and the one that was wrapped around her neck became caught in the spokes of the wheels causing her to be pulled out of the car on to the road with enough force so that she was probably killed instantly.

Sources : http://www.artnet.fr/magazine/expositions/deschodt/duncan.asp http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/

Mercedes de Acosta the famous lesbian

the poetessMercedes de Acosta (1893-1968) by her husband Abram Poole, 1920s

she’s had the most important women of the twentieth century.  she established  lesbian liaison with Isadora Duncan, Eva Le Gallienne, Greta Garbo, and Marlene Dietrich, Alla Nazimova

Edward Steichen – Isadora and ThereseDuncan at the Parthenon,1921

Edward Steichen- Isadora Duncan at the Portal of the Parthenon, Athens,1921

Edward Steichen- Isadora Duncan at the Portal of the Parthenon, Athens,1921

Edward Steichen- Isadora Duncan at the Portal of the Parthenon, Athens,1921

Edward Steichen- Isadora Duncan at the Portal of the Parthenon, Athens,1921

Edward Steichen- Isadora Duncan at the Portal of the Parthenon, Athens,1921

Edward Steichen- Isadora Duncan at the Portal of the Parthenon, Athens,1921

20130818-081634.jpg

Edward Steichen – Therese Duncan on the Acropolis, Athens, 1921

Edward Steichen - Wind fire - Thérèse Duncan on the Acropolis, 1921

Edward Steichen – Wind fire – Thérèse Duncan on the Acropolis, 1921

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Edward Steichen -Therese Duncan -The Parthenon, 1921

20130818-081519.jpg

Edward Steichen- Therese Duncan’s reaching arms-The Parthenon, 1921

Edward Steichen- Isadora Duncan at the parthenon, Athens, 1920

Edward Steichen- Isadora Duncan at the parthenon, Athens, 1920