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Marie Wilson - Hypnotic Tracings

Catalog, published on the occasion of Marie Wilson’s solo exhibition by the same title in 2006.

The volume includes articles and photographs of original work by the important American artist.

The publication presents drawings from Marie Wilson’s 2006 exhibition Hypnotic Tracings, which was held at the Cultural Organization of the Kalamaria Municipality, Thessaloniki.


The texts and photographs of the bilingual edition reveal the artist’s strong attraction to intuitive automatism and her use of strictly bounded yet expansive forms to create highly complex symmetrical compositions.



Leonidas Phoebus Koskos
Maria Kenanidou

Marie Wilson (1922-2017) was born in Cedarville, California. After completing her formal academic education in Fine Arts (B.A. Mills College, M.A. University of California at Berkeley), she met Jean Varda, who became her mentor and passed on to her the language of modern art and chromatic synesthesia. In 1952, she left America for Paris, France, where her close friend Wolfgang Paalen introduced her to a broad circle of surrealist artists. One of them, André Breton, emerged as an important lifelong friend and a great influence in her artistic work. During the 8 years she spent in Paris, she kept in close touch with her fellow artists in the surrealist movement, exhibited her work, and wrote about art for several magazines. In 1954, she worked for a little while at Pablo Picasso's atelier in Vallauris. In 1960, she married the Greek poet Nanos Valaoritis, with whom she had three children. The couple moved to Greece shortly after their marriage and stayed there for 8 years. During 1963-1966, she collaborated as an artist and journalist with the literary magazines Pali and Residu. Some of her paintings in color were used by the Greek poet and psychoanalyst Andreas Embirikos as covers for his books. She also made illustrations for poems by Octavio Paz, Manto Aravantinou and Nanos Valaoritis, who in turn wrote poems in French for her collection of sketches Terre de Diamant (1958). In 1991, she participated in an important exhibition on Surrealism at the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris.

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