fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Leonor Fini
La Biennale di Venezia

Your are here

Leonor Fini

1907, Argentina – 1996, France

  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

Born in Argentina to Italian parents, at the age of two Leonor Fini fled with her mother to the Italian city of Trieste, escaping her oppressive father. Over the years he would try to bring her back to Argentina, forcing Fini to disguise herself as a boy, sowing the seeds of her masquerades and gender reversals. In the 1930s she met artist Giorgio de Chirico, who would advise her to move to Paris and introduce her to the Surrealists; yet, disavow- ing André Breton’s traditional view of women, she rejected the invitation to officially join the group. Fini illustrated several famous books, worked for Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli, and designed costumes for ballet, theatre, and film. The artist was interested in the macabre, a pursuit that is translated into a sensual encounter with the momentari- ly still body of Nico Papatakis in L’Alcôve (1941). Fini, perched on the side of the bed, admires the body of the androgynous curved male nude chastely lounging in a boudoir framed by voluptuous textured drapery. Exchanging roles, the artist destabilises social mores as the figure refuses traditional male characteristics: power, virility, and stoicism. Exploring dominance and submission, Femme assise sur un homme nu (1942) conveys Fini dressed in bold velvet clothing sitting on a sleeping naked man as she towers over the landscape in the background. Advocating for a greater balance between the male and the female, she sought to depict the Neue Frau (New Woman) that in numerous paintings would be represented through the image of the empowered mythological figure of the hybrid sphinx: part woman, part feline. 

Liv Cuniberti


Leonor Fini, L’Alcôve, 1941. Oil on canvas, 73 × 97 cm. Photo Nicholas Pishvanov. Collection Rowland Weinstein.
Courtesy Weinstein Gallery, San Francisco. © Estate of Leonor Fini

Central Pavilion
See on Google Maps

Share this page on

Share on FacebookShare on XShare on LinkedINSend via WhatsApp
Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte