Erté (Romain De Tirtoff, Russian/French, 1892-1990) color serigraph on paper with silver, gold, and red foil embossing titled “Kiss of Fire” from the artist’s Love and Passion Suite, numbered 61/300, published circa 1983. Depicts a partially nude male and a female couple in profile standing on a gold surface and dressed in red, orange, and purple flowing garments and headdresses reminiscent of flames, their arms resting on each other’s shoulders, against a black background with a black circular pattern embossed above. Numbered in white pencil, lower left below image, signed “Erte” in white pencil, lower right below image. | quoted from Case Fine Arts & Antiques
This publisher’s proof depicts the Queen of the Night from “The Magic Flute” opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with four attendants holding the hem of her elaborate gown against a black background, surrounded on the left, bottom, and right edges by a gold star border. Numbered, in chalk, lower left, signed “Erté”, in chalk, lower right. Merrill Chase, Chicago, IL, gallery label, en verso. Housed under glass in a giltwood frame with a black linen liner with a giltwood fillet. Property of Milligan University, Milligan, Tennessee. source: Case Antique / Case Auctions
“My life is full of mistakes. They’re like pebbles that make a good road.” ~ Beatrice Wood
“There are three things important in life:
Honesty, which means living free of the cunning mind.
Compassion, because if we have no concern for others, we are monsters.
Curiosity, for if the mind is not searching, it is dull and unresponsive.”
~ Beatrice Wood
Beatrice Wood, aka the “Mama of Dada” was born into a wealthy San Francisco family in 1893. Defying her family’s Victorian values, she moved to France to study theater and art. On the brink of WWI, her parents brought a reluctant Beatrice back to New York, where her mother did everything within her power to discourage her plans for a career on the New York stage. Despite this, Beatrice’s fluency in French led her to join the French National Repertory Theater, where she played over sixty ingénue roles under the stage name “Mademoiselle Patricia” to save her family’s name and reputation.
Wood’s involvement in the Avant-Garde began in these years with her introduction to Marcel Duchamp and later to his friend Henri-Pierre Roché, a diplomat, writer and art collector. Roché, a man fourteen years her senior, joined the duo, becoming creatively (and romantically) entangled. Together they wrote and edited The Blind Man (and the Rongwrong magazine), a magazine that poked the conservative art establishment and helped define the Dada art movement.
Marcel Duchamp brought Beatrice into the world of the New York Dada group, which existed by the patronage of art collectors Walter and Louise Arensberg. The Arensbergs’ home became the center of legendary soirees that included leading figures of the time including Francis Picabia, Mina Loy, Man Ray, Charles Demuth, Joseph Stella, Charles Sheeler and the composer Edgard Varèse.
Beatrice Wood’s career as an artist of note began when she created an abstraction to tease Duchamp that anyone could create modern art. Duchamp was impressed by the work, arranging to have it published in a magazine and inviting her to work in his studio. It was here that she developed her style of spontaneous sketching and painting that continued throughout her life.
Following the formation of the Society of Independent Artists in 1917, Beatrice exhibited work in their Independents exhibition. [text extracted from Wikipedia entry and Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts]