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Tamara de Lempicka, La belle Rafaela en vert (The Beautiful Rafaela in Green), ca. 1927, oil on canvas, 15 × 24".

Tamara de Lempicka, La belle Rafaela en vert (The Beautiful Rafaela in Green), ca. 1927, oil on canvas, 15 × 24".

Tamara de Lempicka

Kosciuszko Projects

“Lempicka was a liar, a snob and a fraud from the off,” began the British art critic Waldemar Januszczak in his poison-pen Sunday Times review of her exhibition at London’s Royal Academy of Arts in 2004. Rarely has an artist inspired such moral condemnation and righteous disdain as Tamara de Lempicka, the rappel à l’ordre society painter who objectified, perhaps more than any other artist, the cold, metallic libido of Art Deco. Despite, or perhaps because of, her enduring popularity (she is the subject of several biographies, a stage play, and a forthcoming Broadway musical), major museum collections and art-history books have mostly steered clear of her art, its adamantine glamour tainted with the bad smell of mercenary kitsch. Kosciuszko Projects’ “The Many Faces of Tamara de Lempicka (1898–1980),” the first US show of her work in almost sixty years, doesn’t militate against this reputation

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