1931 . magalas . france

1980 . ivry-sur-seine . france


Thérèse Bonnelalbay’s father was a coal man. In 1950, she moved to Marseille and worked as a nurse. She married in 1959 and had two children. In 1963, during a meeting of the Communist Party, of which she was a member, she began scribbling in ink on a piece of paper. Encouraged by her husband, she continued drawing. In 1975, the family moved to Ivry-sur-Seine. One night in February 1980 Thérèse Bonnelalbay disappeared. Her body was found a month later near the locks of Suresnes. In her early drawings, quite figurative, we can distinguish parts of profiles and plant forms. Later on her gesture becomes free and her work evolves to a form of abstraction, which is not without recalling the drawings of Henri Michaux, or those of Emmanuel Deriennic – a kind of ideographic mysterious writing, as if Thérèse Bonnelalbay was reinventing a new vocabulary, an alphabet with hidden meaning.