Iris Häussler: The Sophie La Rosière Project (2018)
Exhibition: Iris Häussler: Sophie La Rosière, Art Gallery of York University, September 14 – December 11, 2016
Publication: Iris Häussler: The Sophie La Rosière Project (Toronto: Art Gallery of York University, 2018)
Back cover blurb:
Since 2009, Iris Häussler has produced the complete oeuvre of unknown French painter Sophie la Rosière who died in 1948. In fact, Häussler has created an artistic persona—a heteronym—through which to channel this fictitious artist’s secrets while, at the same time, fabricating a biography for her and an elaborate backstory of a hidden erotic liaison that intersects, nonetheless, with real people, historical events, and actual artistic movements. The paintings, however, are merely a kernel within the larger shell of La Rosière’s life circumstances, which includes the recreation of her studio, its products and detritus. The book comprises the elements of a forensic investigation that tries to answer the questions, after the paintings’ discovery, of why these paintings were abandoned, why they were concealed by a layer of black encaustic, and, ultimately, what secrets they conceal. Following the spirit of the overall project, this book includes a catalogue raisonné of all of Sophie la Rosière’s 292 works, forensic evidence, expert analyses, and official reports.
Design: Joseph Atkinson