Valentine Dobree (1894 - 1974)

The Event. (Tryptich), early 1960s


SKU: 9874


Triptych: 2 x 7 1/4 x 7 1/2 in. (18.5 x 19.5 cm). 1 x 7 1/4 x 11 1/2 in. (18.5 x 29 cm)


Height – 18.5cm x Width – 19.5cm

1 in stock


The Artist’s Studio

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, et al. Women Only Works on Paper. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p. 41.

Praising Valentine Dobrée’s collages in an exhibition of her work at the Claridge Gallery, London, in 1931,
a critic for The Sketch observed, her pictures might also have been called mosaics, as they are made out of
different coloured wall-paper cut out and pasted together to form Vorticist designs…Her medium does
not, as a rule, admit of brilliance, and I found the subdued tones of her patchwork pictures lovely.’

In The Event, Dobrée uses a triptych format to frame an almost cinematic juxtaposition of wallpaper,
marbled paper, photographs and journal cuttings, which overlap to create multiple viewpoints, a technique
that places her in active dialogue with cubist collage artists, such as Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Juan
Gris (1887-1927). The defamiliarization generated by the rearrangement of elements on the paper,
including images of modern buildings, sea and sky, and unidentified objects, also creates multiple realities
found in surrealist collage. For Dobrée, collage offered a means of fixing attention on the fragmentation
of modern society. The fragments lie around us’, she wrote in 1963, …haunted by experience, extending
into a half-conscious dream world’.

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Valentine Dobree
1894 - 1974

Valentine DobrŽe (nŽe Gladys May Mabel Brooke-Pechell)
emigrated to England from India at the age of three. Despite brief
tutelage from AndrŽ Derain (1880Ð 1954) being her only formal
art education, she enjoyed a successful career as an artist, novelist
and poet. 

She married in 1913 and moved with her husband to
Florence, returning to England at the beginning of the war where
she lived a bohemian existence Ð becoming associated with the
Bloomsbury group and conducting an affair with Mark Gertler. 

DobrŽe showed with the LG in 1920 and at the Salon des
IndŽpendants between 1921 and 1925, while living in the French
Pyrenees with her husband. In 1926 they moved to Cairo,
returning to England in 1929 when her book The EmperorÕs
was published. She held her first solo show at the Claridge
Gallery in 1931, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts staged
an exhibition of her collages in 1963. The Stanley and Audrey
Burton Gallery, Leeds, held a retrospective exhibition in 2000.