The writer Sylvia Plath, considered by its pictorial works

Photo: Marielba Alvarez (Smithsonian)
The exposure setting on the report in the mirror, this identity, double-crosses all the work of the writer Sylvia Plath.

Until the 20th of next may in Washington, the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian is devoting an important exhibition to the pictorial work is unknown to the writer Sylvia Plath.


When she committed suicide in 1963, Plath left behind a novel, The bell of distress. This book is semi-autobiographical, published a few weeks before his death under the pseudonym of Victoria Lucas, will give him an immense fame. Posthumously, under the title of Ariel, published in 1965, his poems, organized by her husband, the poet Ted Hughes. Since then, the readers are also immersed in his essays, his notebooks, his new. But we know much less of his pictorial work, his drawings, paintings, photographs.


However, this writer became an icon after his death said that his imagination was visual, and she turned instinctively towards the painting and not music “. Constantly, we read in it his need to draw, paint. She said : “From my ride yesterday, I reported to the house of the thistle and purple, and a bouquet of dandelions, that I have drawn with love and attention. “Where it is located, in England, in France, in Spain or in the United States, she draws relentlessly. His first poem was published at the age of 8 years. His first drawing, a year later. Sylvia Plath will benefit from a remarkable liberal education that gives him a wide access to the visual arts. Her mother, she wrote in 1956 : “I believe that I am in the process of designing a kind of primitive style well to me. “


Sylvia Plath appears fascinated by the symbolism of the color, as much in his work written in pictorial works brilliantly of his hand.


Entitled One Life : Sylvia Plath, the exhibition at the Smithsonian is the first event devoted by a large museum in this side of the work of the writer.


As already explained Frieda Hughes, daughter of Sylvia Plath and the poet and painter Ted Hughes, the poetry came first in it, but ” the arts have always been very important in her life “.


Frieda Hughes had already published a collection of inks of his mother. Books and various public events have also been able to show portions of the paintings are very colorful, are somewhat given to the wall mexican. Plath realised also collages in addition to pen and ink drawings. His notebooks and diaries are full of drawings both whimsical and realistic. The exhibition at the Smithsonian presents more of the original photos.


In her correspondence and her journal, Plath speaks regularly of his pictorial works. The writing borrows for it the voice of the drawing. The one and the other range of preserves, hand in hand.


Figure of the double

Photo: Marielba Alvarez (Smithsonian)

Sylvia Plath paints and draws since her childhood. The chic Smith College, a prestigious educational institution for girls, it will carry out a thesis on the figure of the double in Dostoevsky. The exhibition at the Smithsonian putting it on this report in the mirror, this identity, double-crosses the entire work of the writer. Plath, reminiscent of the exhibition, was by design, according to needs, in the guise of what she called his personality “brunette” or ” blonde “.


Plath will draw throughout his life. During his honeymoon in 1956, she draws the roofs, the terminal of a street, a bottle, houses, landscapes, as well as Ted Hughes, her young husband. This ceaseless activity arouse in her a sort of closure, according to what says Hughes.


While teaching at Smith College, Plath follows the course of the history of the item And to explain its literary work, it readily evokes the inspiration of several paintings as well as his favourite painters. She said in 1958 : “I have found my source of deepest inspiration in the art of the primitive, Henri Rousseau, Gauguin, Paul Klee, De Chirico. […] I’m always full of creative ideas, as if I had content a geyser in a bottle for a year. “It will effectively write a suite of poems based on these works.


Would she have wanted to be a painter ? In an interview in 1962, Plath said that she would have wanted to be a doctor. “My good friends have always been doctors. “She claims to be wary of many of the writers as much as artists, even if many of his friends are. “But I have to say that I admire above all the person who dominates a field of practical experience, and who can teach me something. I hear : my midwife local to me has learned to raise bees. “