first edition Wraps
by May Wanda, artist. Preface by Francis Carco
Paris. Limited First Edition. Wraps. Very Good Plus. Scarce collection of watercolors from a now forgotten, or unjustly overlooked, artist who incomparably captures in her paintings the l'esprit of Colette. No copies found on OCLC, notwithstanding this was a limited edition of 500 copies. (This copy is numbered 500.) Also no information on the publisher, suggesting this might have been privately printed. N.d., circa 1925. 33 by 25 cm. 2 pp. preface by Carco, a novelist regarded as the "Last Bohemian", followed by sixteen watercolors, each preceded by a tissue guard containing the title of the painting. Whether or not May Wanda herself felt a connection to Colette is immaterial; in her subject matter, her treatment of her subjects, the economy of line in her portraits, her bold application of color and finally, her straightforward, unblinking honesty, the comparison of the two is inevitable. There are a few men appearing in these paintings, but this is artwork about women, by a woman, from a woman's point-of-view. That point-of-view is both inscrutable and acerbic in its traversal of the frivolous and gaudy aspects of urban life, and there is somehow created a bond between the women living in comfort and luxury and those of meaner circumstance. Here are depicted a woman sitting alone with a glass of wine, a young ingenue on a fashionable boulevard, a flapper behind the wheel of a car, a woman at a pool, sisters in an opera box, smartly dressed women shopping, a woman at a "Bal Musette", etc. Carco likens May Wanda to Toulouse-Lautrec, and that is also an apt comparison in many ways, particularly in the weary enigmatic expressions of many of the women.
(Inventory #: 003197)