20th Century British Art
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Paule Vezelay (1892-1984)

Paule Vézelay (née Marjorie Watson-Williams) studied at Bristol School of Art, London School of Art and Chelsea Polytechnic. 

She first exhibited in London in 1921 and joined the LG the next year. In 1926, she moved to Paris and adopted the name Paule Vézelay, which – despite the moniker’s distinctly French nature – she claimed was “for purely aesthetic reasons”. 

Closely associated with André Masson (1896–1987) (with whom she lived for four years), Jean Arp (1886–1966) and Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889–1943) during this period, by the early 1930s Vézelay’s work had become increasingly abstract and she joined Abstraction-Création in 1934. One of only a few British members, she was committed to international, non- representational art. 

She returned to London at the outbreak of WWII and experimented with new artistic forms, including reliefs, painting and textiles, some of which were shown at the Grosvenor Gallery in 1968. A retrospective exhibition of her work was held at the Tate Gallery in 1983.

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