Paule Vézelay [ 1892 - 1984 ]

In 1926, the British artist Marjorie Watson-Williams moved to Paris & adopted the name ‘Paule Vézelay’. By the early 1930s she had become an active member of the Parisian avant-garde. In France, Vézelay lived with the Surrealist artist André Masson & met Kandinsky, Mondrian, Miro, Magnelli & Jean Arp. In 1934, Vézelay joined Abstraction-Création & exhibited in France, Italy & Holland.The artists of Le Groupe Espace, founded in Paris in 1951, were concerned with space in art & were influenced by the pre-war movements of Constructivism & Neo-Plasticism. Vézelay exhibited with them & became president of the British branch of Le Groupe Espace. Her early work was figurative, but apart from her Surrealist-inspired works from the early 1930s & her wartime drawings, she became one of the first British artists to commit to the abstract movement. Vézelay lived in France until forced by the war to return to England in 1939. She continued to exhibit regularly in France after the war. She provided designs for textiles for Edinburgh Weavers & almost disappeared from public view until The Tate Gallery retrospective exhibition of her work in 1983 held the year before she died.