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OH, MARIE! and more art by Cecily Brown

OH, MARIE!, 2007
27 x 35 cm (h x w)
etching and softground on paper
not for sale
[Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Gift of the Des Moines Art Center Print Club, 2007.14]

(Commissioned Print & Gift Print, 2007)

Internationally-acclaimed painter Cecily Brown made an illustration for a short story by Georges Bataille (1897–1962), considered a 20th century master of eroticism, and in whose work, Surrealism and pornography meet. Written around 1943 and first published in 1967, Le Mort (The Dead Man) tells the tale of Marie, who flees the house of the titular dead man, and ends up in a bar. She debases herself and presents herself as a sexual object to the people who populate the bar. A Count visits and Marie is immediately struck by his resemblance to the dead man. The count and Marie go back to her house where the dead man still lies, and Marie dies, cutting her wrists.

In Cecily Brown’s etching of this subject, the column-like central figure is Marie. Her arms are held back behind her body. The Count’s face is visible behind her, and again as a tombstone-like shape at the right. There are faces of voyeurs. To the right are allusions to architectural elements such as a window. Wind blows a veil.

Cecily Brown’s title for her print comes from the song Oh Marie (1957) by Louis Prima. She collaborated with Greg Burnet at Two Palms Press in New York.



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