Year and place of birth: 1936, Santiago, Cuba Date of death: 2017 , France
Hessie Boutons No Inv 030

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Hessie (born Carmen Igartua Pellot) is a Cuban self-taught artist who is known for her embroidery works on fabrics and multifaceted collages on paper. She left her native country in 1960 and was first employed as a copyist of works of art in New York City. There she met the Montenegrin artist Dado (Miodrag Duric) in 1962 and moved with him to a small village in the countryside near Paris where she lived and worked until her death. Wanting to participate in the change of society, she joined an informal group of militant feminist artists and critics in the 1970s and worked with them on exhibitions that promoted feminist art from Europe and the United States.

Hessie worked in the margins of the art world for the most part of her life. She developed a personal, minimal vocabulary based on easily available, cheap materials and techniques relating to household chores taken up by women like sewing, embroidering and repairing. Disproving the reputation of feminine handicraft as a simplistic and archaic practice, she developed a complex body of works that combine vulnerability and resistance. As such, her urge to create lead to radical innovation.

Hessie’s first solo exhibition Survival Art was held in 1975 in the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.

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