Laurence de Valmy

Artist Laurence de Valmy invites us to reflect on the links between artists through times and the relationship between Art and social media today. Inspired by the personal stories of artists, she revisits Art History through anachronic Instagram of the past. In her POST paintings, she combines iconic artworks skillfully appropriated and painted with acrylics, with imagined conversations, historically accurate yet humorous. By telling the stories behind these artworks, the artist leads us to consider them with a new eye.

Laurence de Valmy is French born and lives in Philadelphia, USA. In 2017, she was awarded an Artist Residency at MANA Contemporary, NJ. In June 2018, de Valmy’s work was at the Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art (MUCA) in Munich, showing alongside Andy Warhol and at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

In November 2018, she was invited to the Secret Auction of Art on a Postcard starring Marina Abramovic and her two artworks were in the top 10 of the auction. Museum Week has invited her to be the guest artist for the opening in New York of Museum Week 2019 at Michele Mariaud Gallery. Her work can be found in private collections such as Hubert Burda Collection, Abrishamchi Family Collection, Vinik Family and Eileen Kaminsky Foundation.

In the Spring 1982, Keith Haring created his first major outdoor mural on the Houston Bowery Wall in New York City which stayed on view for a few weeks. He often said that "the public needs art and it is the responsibility of a 'self-proclaimed artist' to realize that the public needs art, and not to make bourgeois art for a few and ignore the masses."

In 2008, the Houston Bowery Wall became a permanent outdoor exhibition space created by Tony Goldman and Jeffrey Deitch, the first new mural being this tribute to the original Keith Haring mural on what would have been his 50th birthday. Since then a number of well-known street artists have created murals on the wall, including Kenny Sharf.

In Interview Magazine, Henri Geldzahler suggests that Basquiat has "improved the streets". Basquiat answered "I think I have to give that crown to Keith Haring. I haven’t worked in the streets in so long".

Sources:Keith Haring Foundation,, Interview Magazine, January 1983

Keith and Houston St, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 14 x 11 in.

In 1984, Warhol met Basquiat through their common art dealer Bruno Bischofberger and became friends. They end up collaborating on 200 paintings and had a common show at Tony Shafrazi Gallery, opening on September 14, 1985.

Vivien Raynor, critic for the NY Times, wrote on September 20 1985 that Jean-Michel Basquiat "had a chance of becoming a very good painter providing he didn't succumb to the forces that would make him an art world mascot". ”the collaboration looks like one of Warhol's manipulations, (...) Basquiat, meanwhile, comes across as the all too willing accessory".

Basquiat’s comment is from an interview“I don't listen to what art critics say. I don't know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is.” One of his reproach against the art world was that it was the SAMO (Same Old Shit) which was his first signature as a street artist.

In his diaries Warhol writes that he's particularly upset about this part of the review. In this POST his comment is based on his quote about critics "Don't pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches."

Still their relationship which was already a bit shaky at the time was hurt and they never were as close as before.

Sources: Leonhard Emmerling, New York Times, September 20 1985,

Basquiat and The NY Times, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 14 x 11 in.

Goldfish appear in 9 paintings of Matisse. It is thought that he got inspired by his visit to Morocco where the local population population would day-dream, gazing into goldfish bowls. Roy Lichtenstein made several paintings inspired by Matisse.

The POST features a detail of Goldfish and palette painted in the Fall 1914. Matisse had tried to enlist in the army but was considered too old. His friend the artist Charles Camoin was sent to the front and they would exchange letters. In one of his letters, Matisse expresses that he's working hard because he cannot stay idle but that his struggle has nothing to do with what the men fighting are facing. He is frustrated of feeling powerless.

Camoin told him in one of his letters, that he should work to represent their lost generation. The comment of Picasso is based on his quote "Art is not made to decorate rooms. It is an offensive weapon in the defence against the enemy.”

Sources:Eight Interviews/Statements, Art in America 63,1975, Modernist Against the Grain By Catherine Bock-Weiss, In Search of True Painting edited by Rebecca A. Rabinow, Dorthe Aagesen, Ellsworth Kelly Interview, Apollo Magazine October 2013, Interview of Leo Castelli, 1969-1973 June 8, by Paul Cummings, the Archives of American Art.

Henri's struggle, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 14 x 11 in.

Goldfish appear in 9 paintings of Matisse. It is thought that he got inspired by his visit to Morocco where the local population population would day-dream, gazing into goldfish bowls. Roy Lichtenstein made several paintings inspired by Matisse.

The POST is based on an interview of Roy reflecting in Art in America in 1975 in an article about the influence of Matisse. He stated "Everyone is influenced by (Matisse) to a certain extent. It’s an influence that everybody also tries to get rid of. I think the same is true of Picasso (...) Picasso and Matisse (...) define painting in a certain way. And because of that a great effort is made to get away from them. The Abstract Expressionists were trying to get away from them. Actually, I think maybe they got closer, which we all seem to do in trying to get away."

His friend Ellsworth Kelly said "there is a difference between European colour and American colour. America misunderstood my colour; [they] thought it was out of date, but in fact it was different. It was Matisse, Derain, the Fauves, Mondrian"

Leo Castelli had launched Lichtenstein's career and considered he was one of his discoveries.

Sources:Eight Interviews/Statements, Art in America 63,1975,, Ellsworth Kelly Interview, Apollo Magazine October 2013, Interview of Leo Castelli, 1969-1973 June 8, by Paul Cummings, the Archives of American Art.

Roy and Kelly, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 14 x 11 in.

2017 Henri's vision of orient 40x30.jpg

Vincent Van Gogh was fascinated by the night... during his stay in Provence he painted in June 1889 the now famous Starry Nightwhich he considered a study. Although he was not satisfied with it, this painting is now among his most iconic work and was a source of inspiration for many abstract expressionist painters.

In this Post, Vincent thanks his brother Theo for the supplies he sent him and shares his latest painting.

Theo was not a fan of this "new style" and encouraged him to stick to real things like flowers...


Henri’s Odalisque, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 x 1.5 in.

2017 Claude Cathedrals 40x30 Laurence de Valmy.jpg

Between 1892 and 94, Claude Monet painted a series of 30 cathedrals of Rouen.

He had ups and downs with this series and sometimes considered abandoning it because he did "nothing good".

On May 10th 1895, he finally presented 20 of them during a show at Paul Durand Ruel Gallery and it was a success.

His longtime friend Camille Pissarro was particularly enthusiast as well as Paul Cezanne, who was someone of few words.

Monet considered that the series should be seen in its entirety and regretted to that it would no longer be the case once they would be sold...

Sources: Monet by himself Richard Kendall. Monet in the 20th century, Paul Hayes Tucker and George T. M. Shackelford. Monet, Musee d'Orsay retrospective.

Claude's Cathedrals, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 x 0.75 in.

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In 1907, the Swedish artist Hilma Af Klint, member of the Royal Academy, created the first abstract paintings of modern art history, in complete secret, and years before Kandinsky or Mondrian.

Hilma Af Klint practiced spiritism with 4 other women "The 5", Anna Cassel being one of them. The artworks were "automatically" painted, following the guidance of the "High Masters". Hilma painted 193 works "for the Temple" between 1906 and 1915. Since the artist believed that the world was not ready for her work, she kept them hidden and asked in her will that they remained as such for 20 years after her passing. Thanks to the art historian Åke Fant, her art was introduced to an international audience in the 1980's and she had a retrospective at the Guggenheim in NYC in 2018-2019.

Hilma and Rudolf, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 24 x18 x 1.5 in.

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In 1898 Claude Monet has added a water garden to his Giverny property and he starts to paint a few nympheas. He will expand this series until the end of his life and create 250 paintings.

In this Post, Monet shares details of his first paintings. His close friend, the politician Georges Clemenceau will be key in the project of the the Musee de l'Orangerie in Paris after WWI.

The comment of Renoir is based on one of his quotes “An artist, under pain of oblivion, must have confidence in himself, and listen only to his real master: Nature“.

Sources: Ross King,Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies, 2017. Charles F. Stuckey, Nymphéas, Paris, könemann, 2000

Claude's Nympheas, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 x 3/4 in.

2017 Roy and Picasso 40x30.jpg

After Ingres, Delacroix and many others, Matisse embraces the theme of the odalisques, following his trips to North Africa in 1906 and 1912.

He particularly works on the series in Nice on the French Riviera where he settles in 1918. In this post, Matisse shares his recent painting, Small Odalisque in Purple Robe, created in 1937. Picasso, his friendly rival, reacts and declares that “all things considered, there is only Matisse” out there. When the collector Gertrude Stein introduced Matisse to Picasso in 1906, Matisse declared that they were different as the North and the South Pole. Here Stein picks up on this quote to declare that Matisse with his odalisque is the South Pole.

In December 1954, six weeks after the death of his lifelong friend Matisse, Picasso started to paint a series based on Delacroix's The Women of Algiers in their Apartment (Les Femmes d'Alger) and as a tribute to his friend, famous for his images of odalisques. This series is considered among the masterpieces of Picasso. In this post, Picasso shares a detail of the Version O and that "When Matisse died he left his odalisques to (him) as a legacy". Roy Lichtenstein a fan of Picasso adds his comment as well as the art historian and collector Douglas Cooper who was among the first to realize that the series marked a return to Picasso's peak form.

In 1963, Roy Lichtenstein was already famous for his paintings inspired by images from comics. He also created artwork inspired from other artists and Picasso, the main hero of Lichtenstein, was among them. This artwork Femme d’Alger is a reinterpretation of Picasso’s Femmes d’Alger of 1955. In this Post, Roy shares that recreating Picasso’s artwork was liberating for him. Ivan Karp, the director of the Leo Castelli Gallery points out the rich series of artwork on the theme of the Odalisques started by Delacroix in 1834.

Sources: Matisse and Picasso: The Story of Their Rivalry and Friendship, Jack Flam, 2003. R. Penrose, Picasso: His Life and Art, Berkeley, 1985 (3rd ed.), p. 396).. R. Lichtenstein, quoted in G. Mercurio, Lichtenstein: Meditations on Modern art, exh. cat., Milan, 2010, p.137

Roy and Picasso, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 x 1.5 in.

2017 Vincent starry night 40x30.jpg

Vincent Van Gogh was fascinated by the night... during his stay in Provence he painted in June 1889 the now famous Starry Nightwhich he considered a study. Although he was not satisfied with it, this painting is now among his most iconic work and was a source of inspiration for many abstract expressionist painters.

In this Post, Vincent thanks his brother Theo for the supplies he sent him and shares his latest painting.

Theo was not a fan of this "new style" and encouraged him to stick to real things like flowers...


Vincent Starry Night, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 x 1.5 in.

2017 Janet Reflections, 30x24 Laurence de Valmy.jpg

In 1971 Janet Fish exhibits her bold realist still lifes in New York in the 55 Mercer Street Gallery. She aims at painting the light that the “plastic wrap catches and which creates fascinating reflections" and said that she felt she hasn’t seen an object until she paints it. The New York TImes said that Fish's "ambitious still life painting helped resuscitate realism in the 1970's”.

In NYC, she meets and befriends the artist Louise Nevelson, who becomes one of her supporter even though their artistic universes are very different. She introduces her to Dorothy Miller, one of the most influential art curator in American Art of the 20th century.

Janet's reflections, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 x 3/4 in.

2017 Wayne s cakes 40x30.jpg

In 1956, Wayne Thiebaud befriended Willem de Kooning who gave him a valuable advice: paint what you love.

In 1961, Thiebaud created a series with cakes and thought nobody would be interested in them. Still, he went from California to NYC to present his work. He got rejected but the last gallery in which he stopped was the Allan Stone Gallery. Allan Stone was intrigued and gave him a show in the spring 1962 that sold out.

Allan Stone remained his art dealer and friend until his passing in 2006.

Sources: Wayne Thiebaud: A Paintings Retrospective by Steven A. Nash. Delicious: The Art and Life of Wayne Thiebaud by Susan Goldman Rubin

Wayne's Cakes, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 x 1.5

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In 1952, at the age of 23, Helen Frankenthaler painted Mountains and Sea, the picture that would launch her career. She innovated by using a new technique; stain painting, with thin washes directly on the unprimed canvas.

After she painted it, her then lover, art critic Clement Greenberg arrived at the studio, and she asked the questions she would continue to ask herself: "Is it finished? Is it a complete picture?". Eventually she decided that it was, and she dated it "10/26/52"

She had a big influence on Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis, who called her “a bridge between Pollock and what was possible.”

Sources: Helen Frankenthaler: a paintings retrospective E.A. Carmean, Jr.

Helen's First Solo Show, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 x 1.5

Jean Michel meets Andy 19 E18 LR.jpg

On October 4 1982, Jean Michel Basquiat met Andy Warhol during a lunch organized by the art dealer Bruno Bischofberger, who took some photos of the two artists together. Basquiat left with some photos and one and half an hour later, Basquiat assistant appeared at the Factory with a 60" x 60” work on canvas, still completely wet, titled Dos Cabezas.

Andy who valued the fact of being fast declared "I'm really jealous. He's faster than I am.' and then later to Basquiat "I mean, you're faster than Picasso. God, that's greaaaat”.

This first painting would be the start of a friendship and collaboration of the two men.

Sources: The Andy Warhol Diaries, ed. P. Hackett, New York, 1989. Basquiat: A Quick Killing in Art, Phoebe Hoban, 2008

Jean Michel Meets Andy, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 x 1.5 in.

2018 David Bigger Splash 36 x 24 Laurence de Valmy.jpg

In 1966, Hockney started his series with Little Splash and Splash before painting A Bigger Splash in 1967. The series was inspired from a photograph of a swimming pool advertising.

This first two painting are now in private collections and rarely seen, A Bigger Splash is at the Tate.

In Little Splash Post, Hockney shares his new painting and Betty Freeman, a patron and her model for Beverly Hills Housewife, alludes to the fact that he painted her pool. The writer Christopher Isherwood was a close friend of Hockney who used to call him Mr Whizz.C

In Splash Post, Hockney shares how he believes that painting is more powerful than a camera to capture the movement. His lover, the artist Peter Schlesinger reacts as well as Andy Warhol who is at the time crazy about making movies.

In A Bigger Splash Post, Hockney mentioned how he carefully painted "in 2 weeks a moment of 2 seconds" "like "Leonardo". The artist shares his new painting and Sheridan Dufferin* patron of the arts and partner of John Kasmin, in the Kasmin gallery representing Hockney comments. Sheridan Dufferin will buy the painting from John Kasmin and then sell it to the Tate in 1981.

*(Sheridan Frederick Terence Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 5th Marquess of Dufferin and Ava). Sources: David Hockney: A rake’s progress, Christopher Simon Sykes.

David Bigger Splash, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 24 x 3/4 in.

2019 Robert and the red eiffel tower 14x11.jpg

Robert and The Red Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower representing modernism inspired Robert Delaunay and he painted a series between 1909 and 1928. The first one was a celebration of his engagement with Sonia who loved the tower too. The Red Eiffel tower was painted in 1911/1912. 1912 was a turning point for Robert: in March he had his first major exhibition in Paris with works from his early Impressionist works to his Cubist Eiffel Tower paintings. It was commented that he broke away from cubism through his use of color rejected by other cubist artists.

Art Critic Guillaume Apollinaire argued: ‘If Cubism is dead, long live Orphism’’ and later that the avant garde painters of that time ‘have achieved a more internalized, more popular and more poetic vision of the universe and of life’.

In 1911 Kandisky had invited Robert to join the The Blue Rider, a Munich-based group of artists and his comment is based on his quote “That is beautiful which is produced by the inner need, which springs from the soul.” Sources: The New Art of Color. 1978. Arthur A. Cohen. The Diaries of Paul Klee, 1964

Robert and The Red Eiffel Tower, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 14x11x1.5 in.

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Sonia and The Bal Bullier

Sonia Delaunay

In 1912 Sonia Delaunay designed her first dress, the robe simultanée, a gown made of pink, scarlet, blue and orange sections, which she wore to dance the tango with her husband Robert Delaunay at the fashionable Bal Bullier. She painted Bal Bullier in 1912/1913 which offers an excellent example of Orphism, the expressive combination of color and form that dominated much of both of their career. Her comment is based on her writings ”it’s just that I see color contrasts everywhere in life [...] I do it all for the fun of it” and that she “lived her art”.

In 1912, Paul Klee came to France and saw works by the Delaunays and later worked on translating some writings of Robert in German. He was influenced by their approach and his comment is based on his quote “Color has taken possession of me”. Sources : The Life of an Artist, 1995.

Sonia and The Bal Bullier, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 14 x 11 x 1.5 in.

In 1940-41 Jacob Lawrence created a sixty-panel narrative, The Migration series, based on the experience of his family and his community to communicate the struggle and perseverance of African Americans who, between 1900 and 1940, moved from the South to the North in search of a better life. In this POST, he shares the first panels and tags his friends who have helped him in his path.

The artist Augusta Savage was key in his life and her comment is based on her quote ”I have created nothing really beautiful, really lasting, but if I can inspire one of these youngsters to develop the talent I know they possess, then my monument will be in their work.”

Alan Locke was an American writer, philosopher, and patron of the arts. He introduced Lawrence’s work to art dealer Edith Halpert in June 1941. She gave Lawrence a show in November 1941, which received critical acclaim. He was the first African American artist to be represented by a downtown "mainstream" gallery and to enter into the both The Museum of Modern Art and The Phillips Collection. Sources: Jacob Lawrence The Migration Series, 2015 I The Great Migration: An American Story , 1995 Story Painter: The Life of Jacob Lawrence, 1998 I

Jacob Lawrence, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 24 x 18 x 1.5 in.








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