Paule Vezelay (1892 - 1984)

Lines in Space, No. 11, 1950


SKU: 11248
Signed in pencil on the stretcher bar, verso and with the artist’s signed label verso. Cotton and nylon thread box construction

Height – 24cm
Width – 35cm

1 in stock


Purchased from Virginia Zabriskie

Paule Vézelay was a British-born artist who lived and worked in Paris from 1926 until 1939. There she changed her name from Marjorie Watson-Williams in order to obscure both her nationality and gender. Lines in Space was a series that spanned over 3 decades: In 1964 Paule Vézelay recalled the genesis of such constructions:

When lines are drawn by a skilled and sensitive artist they are sometimes imbued with an almost celestial quality which miraculously endows them with «Life». … I knew that any untrained hand guided by borrowed knowledge could, with a minimum of practice, make lines upon a two-dimensional surface in such a way that they create an illusion of three-dimensional space, but was there any reason why artists should continue to confine Living Lines to a two-dimensional surface while ordinary lines outside the Realm of Art enjoyed freedom in Space? (‘Comments on Lines in Space’, unpublished essay sent to Tate Gallery, Jan. 1964).
The articulation and definition of space was a common concern among many of the artists of Abstraction-Création, the international avant-garde group to which Vézelay belonged. While such artists as César Domela, Jean Gorin and Ben Nicholson extended painting’s illusionistic space into the third dimension of the relief, others such as Alexander Calder, Naum Gabo and Katarzyna Kobro made sculptures in which actual space was an integral element. For them, an abstract art characterised by space and purity was an essential part of the new society for which they hoped and worked. Vézelay was not the only one among them who related the abstract qualities of her work to a spiritual level of reality. This was an art for a new society and a new consciousness.


Liss Llewellyn are continually seeking to improve the quality of the information on their website. We actively undertake to post new and more accurate information on our stable of artists. We openly acknowledge the use of information from other sites including Wikipedia, and and other public domains. We are grateful for the use of this information and we openly invite any comments on how to improve the accuracy of what we have posted.


Paule Vezelay
1892 - 1984

Paule VŽ zelay (nŽ e Marjorie Watson-Williams) studied at Bristol
School of Art, London School of Art and Chelsea Polytechnic. 

She first exhibited in London in 1921 and joined the LG the
next year. In 1926, she moved to Paris and adopted the name Paule
VŽ zelay, which ‘ despite the moniker’s distinctly French nature ‘
she claimed was “for purely aesthetic reasons”. 

Closely associated with AndrŽ Masson (1896’1987) (with
whom she lived for four years), Jean Arp (1886’1966) and Sophie
Taeuber-Arp (1889’1943) during this period, by the early 1930s
VŽ zelay’s work had become increasingly abstract and she joined
Abstraction-CrŽ ation in 1934. One of only a few British members,
she was committed to international, non- representational art. 

She returned to London at the outbreak of WWII and
experimented with new artistic forms, including reliefs, painting
and textiles, some of which were shown at the Grosvenor Gallery
in 1968. A retrospective exhibition of her work was held at the
Tate Gallery in 1983.


Paule Vezelay (1892 - 1984)
Archway, 1929
Paule Vezelay (1892 - 1984)
Lines in Space, No. 11, 1950
Paule Vezelay (1892 - 1984)
Three Forms on Grey
Paule Vezelay (1892 - 1984)
A Moving Form and a Yellow Circle
Paule Vezelay (1892 - 1984)
Tubes et Rubans