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Important Collection of New Works by Claude Lazar and Margot Lazar at Franklin Bowles Galleries
Murmure de la rue, oil on canvas, 21 inches x 28 inches, 2009.

NEW YORK, NY.- Franklin Bowles Galleries presents an important collection of new works by Claude Lazar and Margot Lazar. Claude Lazar chose Franklin Bowles Galleries to become the sole representative of his work in the eastern United States. Since then Lazar’s reputation has grown enormously, as has the demand for his work. As a bonus, last year Claude brought to the gallery's attention the paintings of his wife, Margot Lazar, a very different but similarly talented artist. Now the gallery is privileged to announce that Franklin Bowles Galleries will exclusively represent both artists nationwide and exhibit their work in both theirr San Francisco and New York galleries.

Claude Lazar’s work depicts haunting, ambiguous images of empty apartment interiors, tattered storefronts, and vacant streets. So often it is these weathered facades and empty passageways that define our experience of urban life. Neither elegant nor new, they reveal the mundane, gritty side of living in a modern city. Using such scenes as his backdrop, Lazar makes dramatic use of light and dark to create large, empty spaces that give viewers a vague sense of expectation, as if waiting for something to happen. In his street scenes Lazar goes even further, exploiting sharp contrasts between building shadows and the sky’s natural light to produce a kind of film noir mood, infused with anxiety and loneliness. Yet like those classic movies of the 1940s and 1950s, it is not an unattractive sensation. We feel drawn to Lazar’s gray world in the same way we are often drawn repeatedly to some personal memory “out of the past.” It may be faded memory in disrepair, but it is still potent with emotion. We don’t analyze it or try to figure it out—we just feel it and return to it again and again.

In sharp contrast to these rather masculine images of Claude Lazar, his wife, Margot Lazar paints in an exquisitely feminine style. Her lush, sinuous nudes, ornately decorated fabrics and objects, and sumptuous flowers revel in sensuality. Earlier in her career, Margot worked primarily in portraiture, but more recently her focus has shifted to full figures immersed in sensation and pleasure. Her enigmatic paintings of women flush with expectant desire set against luxuriant backgrounds may arouse some controversy in today’s post-feminist world, but as Margot herself says, “I want to show a woman who is more feminine than feminist, more sensual than sexual, more revealed than veiled.”

Though these two artists—Claude and Margot Lazar—are very different in both style and subject matter, they share one key element: their extraordinary gift for self-expression and communication of human emotion. Claude Lazar was born into a family of antique dealers in Alexandria, Egypt in 1947. However, at the age of ten his family was forced to flee to Paris during the tumultuous time after the Suez Canal was nationalized in 1956. Margot Lazar, who was born in 1962, describes herself as both a hard worker and a dreamer but then states “I belong to the pill and miniskirt generation” which is what truly defines me. Claude and Margot live together in Paris. Both continue to exhibit regularly in museums and galleries around the world.

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February 8, 2011

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