The Sophie La Rosière Project
Art Gallery of York University, 2017–18
6.69×10.63 in, 224 pp, 425+ col, perfect-bound softcover
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 include 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.
Contributions include texts by curators Philip Monk, Rui Mateus Amaral, and Catherine Sicot, art historian Gérard Audinet, and psychoanalyst Yan Pélissier, as well as the work of Iris Häussler, Sophie La Rosière, and Florence [Hasard].
Includes texts in English and French