The painter Françoise Gilot has left us. His disappearance plunges the world of art into great sadness as his personality was bright and inspiring.
The “flower woman” as she used to call her Picasso, whose life she shared for nearly ten years, bequeaths to us an intimate and personal, singular and powerful work. A renowned painter in the Parisian artistic and literary milieu, Françoise Gilot has freed herself from a tumultuous relationship with Picasso to display all her talent in paintings with warm colors and rounded shapes.
His writings and notably the publication of the book Living with Picasso, co-written with Carlton Lake in 1964, retrospectively illuminate his career while revealing the shadow areas of the Spanish painter. This work won her the wrath of a part of the Parisian intellectual milieu, which reproaches her for revealing the flaws of the artist: she will have nothing to do with it, without denying the influence of the painter on her own creations.
In the 1960s, she decided to move to the United States, where she would almost never leave. Working twelve hours a day, she devotes herself tirelessly to a passion for painting that will never go out. Painting for the pleasure of creating, she considered this medium as the only way to express her emotions and thoughts most faithfully.
Given the success of her sales, especially at the end of her career, she said that she painted not to please or displease, but to be in full harmony with her desire to represent the world as she saw it. Driven by a powerful desire for sincerity and truth, she devoted herself totally to her art. We find this constant requirement in his paintings, recently discovered by the French public.
Recognized late in France, Françoise Gilot was the subject of an exhibition organized by the city of Nîmes in 2012 entitled “Françoise Gilot sous le soleil de Nîmes et Picasso” before the Estrine Museum in Saint-Rémy de Provence dedicated a retrospective to her in 2021 with the title “Françoise Gilot, les années françaises”.
From inspiration to artist, from Paris to New York, she has established herself as one of the most striking painters of her generation.
To his children, Paloma and Claude Picasso, his family and his loved ones, I offer my deepest condolences.