Josephine Baker pen and ink 21.5 x 17.5cm (8 7/16 x 6 7/8in).
EXHIBITED: Paris, Le Salon des Peintres du Spectacle, 1995
Born in Missouri, Josephine Baker (1906-1975) moved to Paris in 1925 and became renowned as a singer and exotic dancer, starring at the Folies Bergère with her trademark act, the topless Danse Sauvage. Much admired by contemporary artists, her rise to fame coincided with the Exposition des Arts Décoratifs, from which the term Art Deco was coined, which also saw a renewed interest in ethnic art. Baker was the first African-American to star in a major motion picture, and was a strong supporter of the American Civil Rights Movement in the 1950's. As well as an affair with Colette, Baker was involved with the artist Frida Kahlo. Cocteau said of her "Eroticism has found a style".