Mimi Parent

Mimi Parent, surrealist artist (b at Montréal 1924; d at Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland 14 June 2005). She was a student of Alfred PELLAN at the École des Beaux-arts de Montréal, from which she was eventually expelled in 1947 for being undisciplined. The same year, she held her first solo exhibition at Montréal's Dominion Gallery. A year later, she co-signed, along with 13 other artists, the Prisme d'Yeux Manifesto. After marrying Jean BENOÎT in 1948, she left Canada to live permanently in Paris.

Joining the surrealist group in 1959, Mimi Parent conceived the poster and the catalogue layout for the EROS exhibition in 1959, where she was also in charge of the fetishism room. Although she participated in the collective surrealist enterprises (Milano, 1960; L'Ecart absolu, Paris, 1965; Sâo Paulo, 1967; Le Principe de plaisir, Prague, 1968), she also held solo exhibitions (Galerie André-François Petit, Paris, 1984; Museum Bochum, 1984; Noyers-sur-Serein, 1992). Galerie 1900-2000 in Paris organized a retrospective of her work in the fall of 1998.

Parent's works during the last decades of her life consisted of numerous "tableaux-objets", ie, black wooden boxes in which a scene, composed of different elements, can be seen behind a glass. Each box presents itself as an unusual "theatre of the unconscious" in which a disturbing strangeness is underlined by the sumptuousness of the colours used.

Active into her later years, Mimi Parent?s work was included in several major exhibitions, including in Fémininmasculin, at the Centre George Pompidou in Paris in 1995, La Femme Et Le Surréalisme, in Lausanne in 1987, Surrealism: Desire Unbound, at the Tate Modern in London in 2001, and Paris And The Surrealists, in Barcelona in 2005. She and Jean Benoît were the subject of a joint retrospective at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec in 2004.