Bridget Tichenor (1917-1990)
signed with monogram (lower right)
oil on Masonite
912 x 434 in. (24 x 12 cm.)
Private collection, Mexico City (acquired directly from the artist).
By descent from the above to the present owner.
We are grateful to Dr. Salomon Grimberg for his assistance cataloguing this work.
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Lot Essay

Artist Pedro Friedeberg in his posthumous letter and tribute to his close friend, Bridget Tichenor, recalls her as:
“…full of contradiction: humble yet not modest, self-sacrificing
and arrogant, both generous and tightfisted, benevolent and
malicious, affectionate but irascible, an aristocrat to the core,
although often lacking noblesse oblige…And, nevertheless, despite
your extremely difficult personality, you possessed immense
charisma, and constantly made friends with ease.”
(as quoted in Artes de México, no. 64, 2003, pp. 2-5).

In 1953 after divorcing her second husband, Bridget Tichenor arrived in Mexico at the invitation of her famous cousin the British poet and fervent supporter of the Surrealists, Edward James who lived in a villa near Tampico on the Gulf Coast. Tichenor’s charmed life began in Paris. Born in 1917; she spent her formative years in London (where she attended school), as well as France and Italy. In her youth and due to her mother’s connection to the fashion designer Coco Chanel, she became a model and was sought after by photographers like Man Ray, Cecil Beaton and others. Concerned about the war to come, her mother, yet again, used her influence and arranged a marriage through an introduction to the American composer Cole Porter. In New York, Tichenor continued modeling and began taking classes at The Arts Students League with Reginald Marsh. In Mexico, however, she encountered a world of ancient cultures, and the freedom to study the spiritual realm, while fulfilling her artistic pursuits.

The present lots 51, 52, 53 and 54 offer a glimpse into the dazzling re-imagination of a reality constructed by the visionary artist Bridget Tichenor. They are a treasure trove of extraordinary images where bizarre diminutive beings intrigue and transport us into a magical visual realm. Christie’s is pleased to be offering these works from an American family collection and delighted to share a remembrance from the family about their father and his lasting friendship with Bridget Tichenor.

My father, left his place of birth in Kivarty, Lithuania as an infant when his family immigrated to Mexico in the 1920s. A gregarious and charming man, Mishka, as he was fondly nicknamed, was a businessman, aeronautical engineer, and amateur artist. Our family recalls how he devoted time in his home studio where he found solace and peace. During weekends, he regularly mingled with other fellow artists near a park close to our home—as young children we happily tagged along on our bicycles. Convivial and generous, our father, enjoyed numerous and lasting friendships--one of his closest friends was the artist Bridget Tichenor.

Visits to the artist’s home were adventures for my brother and me who delighted in our father’s great interest in Tichenor’s paintings. While our father engaged in lively conversations about art or a work the artist had recently completed—we were captivated by her black cat which was always perched on the artist’s shoulder. Tichenor was an attentive and enchanting hostess and we remember these visits warmly.

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