M A D E L E I N E   N O V A R I N A

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Sarane Alexandrianhttp://www.sarane-alexandrian.com/SA_Fr/Presentation.html

Madeleine Novarina, a painter who began her career in 1946 at the Salon des Surindépendants (Overindependant ones), was a member of the surrealist group reconstituted after the war by André Breton, in which she counted many admirers, including Victor Brauner, Hans Bellmer, Yves Tanguy and Benjamin Peret. Three periods can be distinguished in her work, starting with a surrealist period from 1937 to 1957, which includes both large dreamy gouaches such as La Faune de mes rêves (The Fauna of my Dreams) or Celle qui danse sur un volcan (She who dances on a volcano) or the “Supervisions” series made with  splashes of ink.

Through the Surrealist group, Madeleine Novarina met the writer Sarane Alexandrian, who was to become her husband. Wishing to use any media for expression, she produced artworks using stained glass slabs and mosaic. In 1956, creating the slabs of the sixteen stained glass windows of Vieugy’s church (Haute-Savoie), she became the first woman in the history of art to create a stained glass window from glass slabs with a reinforced concrete frame for a church. Her practice kept evolving with the oil paintings of the "Patchworks" series where she created faces and figures in calligraphy upon a background of geometric shapes. She thus managed to reach a compromise between abstraction and figuration. Meanwhile, she also drew with a pen and a brush, particularly for the Femmes de tous les désirs (women of all desires) series.

After an stopping in July 1972, due to a serious illness which led her to give up painting with an easel, her third period, from 1975 to 1986, was limited to ink drawings from the "Images du centre de moi” (images of my core) series and to water-colours and gouaches that constituted her Paysages intérieurs (inner landscapes) and Microcosmes. This last stage in her production identifies states of the psyche in a more methodical and "constructivist" manner than her initial surrealist practice.

                                                             After Madeleine Novarina, Sarane Alexandrian, Les Éditions de l’Amateur, Paris, 1992

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The archives of Madeleine Novarina and her husband, Sarane Alexandrian, have been donated to the IMEC (French printed matter archive centre).

A catalog raisonné of the works of Madeleine Novarina is under way. For more information, questions or testimonials:


Period IPeriod_I.html
Period IIPeriod_II.html
Period IIIPeriod_III.html