Early Years - 1940s - 1950s - 1960s - 1970s - 1980s - 1990s - 2000s

1990 - 1999

Françoise Gilot working on a monotype at Solo Press, New York, 1990

February 14: Vernissage for Gilot’s first exhibition of her monotypes at Berggruen & Cie on rue de l’Universite in Paris. Berggruen & Cie also published an important catalogue to accompany the exhibition featuring color illustrations of all the works, and a preface, in French, by Helene Ahrweiler, President of the Georges Pompidou National Centre of Art and Culture in Paris and a preface, in English, by Judith Solodkin, founder and director of Solo Press in New York.

In June, Gilot works are exhibited at the Tennessee Museum of Fine Arts in Memphis. She also has an important exhibition of selected works from the recent retrospective at Feingarten Galleries in Los Angeles.

Since 1971, Gilot had enjoyed a great friendship with Jonas’ brother, Lee Salk, the renowned child psychologist living in New York. Now with his new wife, Mary Jane, their relationship becomes even more steadfast as Françoise feels an immediate fondness and affinity for her new sister-in-law. And on the west coast, Françoise and Jonas sometimes spend weekends with Jonas’ other brother, Herman Salk, the respected veterinarian practicing in Palm Springs, California.

During the summer, Gilot and Dr. Salk travel to Greece to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. While traveling there, Gilot completes an impressive series of large, India ink drawings that call to mind the scenes and characters from Greek mythology.

Cover of Matisse and Picasso, A Friendship in Art, 1990
In New York, Doubleday publishes Matisse and Picasso, A Friendship in Art, and Gilot embarks on a twelve-city tour to promote the book. Within the next few years, the book is translated into a number of languages and issued in a paperback edition.

In France, Gilot is awarded the rank of Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur by the President of the Republic and the Minister of Culture.


In May, Jacques Mourlot, the son of Fernand Mourlot, invites Gilot to return to the Mourlot Atelier to create a lithograph of her choosing to be included in a traveling exhibition, Homage to Fernand Mourlot, being organized to include works by all the noted artists who worked with his recently deceased father. Now acknowledged as a master in lithography, Gilot returns to the Atelier and creates a radiant still life, Tulips (1991), in tribute to her dear friend and mentor, Fernand Mourlot.

Gilot continues to work earnestly on the photographic documentation of her work, cataloguing her work during the relocation of her California studio to downtown La Jolla and appointing Mel Yoakum, Ph.D. as curator of her archives.

Progressing with her new theme of “The Wanderer”, abstraction begins to return to Gilot’s work after nearly 25 years of more figurative compositions.

With renewed interest, Gilot returns to the Mourlot Atelier in October and creates a number of luminous new lithographs, many printed with seven or eight colors and incorporating sophisticated blended inking techniques.

During the year, Gilot’s dealers in Madrid, Amsterdam and Scottsdale organize important exhibitions of her recent paintings and works on paper.


In February, Gilot completes the costume design sketches for “Septet”, a suite of modern dances choreographed by Jeff Slayton. The dances are first performed on 7 April in the University Theater of The California State University at Long Beach. The backdrop is Dream Twilight, the impressive floating painting she created for the Guggenheim Museum Theater in 1984.

In the late spring, Gilot returns to the Langeudoc, renewing her spirit by visiting places she remembers from her youth.

In late May and June, Gilot continues her work in lithography at the Mourlot Atelier in Paris.

In October, “Septet” is performed in the theater of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla, California. Gilot exhibits canvases and drawings relating to the theme of dance and movement to accompany the performance.


The Muskegon Museum of Art in Michigan exhibits important collection of Gilot’s earlier drawings and gouaches. Recently bequeathed to the museum by a local collector who purchased the works earlier in Gilot’s career, many of the pieces are photographed after the exhibition for documentation in her archives.

Gilot returns to the Mourlot Atelier to create two additional lithographs, each printed in eight colors

During her time in La Jolla, Gilot creates a mysterious series of India ink wash drawings, all further exploring Gilot’s preoccupation with the theme of wandering and wanderlust.

Gilot’s dealers in Madrid and Scottsdale organize exhibitions of her recent works.

In New York, Doubleday publishes The Gods of Greece, by Arianna Huffington with a preface by Françoise Gilot and numerous color and black & white illustrations of the paintings, watercolors, gouaches, and drawings Gilot created throughout her career evoking the themes and characters of Greek mythology.


Early in the year, Gilot closes her studio in La Jolla, consolidating her paintings at her New York studio.

In March, Gilot exhibits her monotypes at La Maison Francaise of New York University.

In September, Gilot has an important exhibition of her works related to Greek mythology at the Muskegon Museum of Art in Michigan.

Cover of Stone Echoes, Original Prints by Françoise Gilot, by Mel Yoakum, Ph.D, 1995
Throughout the year, Gilot continues her series of paintings related to the theme of “The Wanderer”.

At the end of the year, Gilot returns to the Mourlot Atelier to create a suite of four small lithographs related to the Wanderer theme. Prophetically, The Stone Echoes Suites are the last lithographs Gilot makes at Mourlot as Jacques Mourlot soon retires and closes the atelier.


January 24: Stone Echoes: Original Prints by Françoise Gilot, opens at The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. In March, concurrent with the exhibition, the museum publishes Stone Echoes: Original Prints by Françoise Gilot – A Catalogue Raisonne. This important and comprehensive book photographically documents and catalogues all of Gilot’s work in etching and lithography. The exhibition continues until April.

June 22: Due to her concern about the somewhat elaborate medical procedure Jonas has earlier in the week, Françoise decides to return from New York to the west coast a few days earlier than planned. Arriving in La Jolla in the evening, she and Jonas enjoy a quiet dinner together at home.

At the exhibition opening “Stone Echoes, Original Prints by Françoise Gilot”, Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, 1995. From left to right: Lisa Tremper Hanover, Museum Curator, Paloma Picasso, Jonas Salk, Françoise Gilot, Claude Picasso, and Mel Yoakum
June 23: In the morning, Françoise rushes Jonas to the hospital were he dies quite suddenly from congestive heart failure and blockage of the kidneys. In just six days, Françoise and Jonas would have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Within a month, Gilot leaves the home she shared with Dr. Salk in La Jolla, moving her books and private possessions to her New York apartment.

In September, Gilot exhibits her floating paintings, monotypes and lithographs at The Slusser Gallery of The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Gilot is elected by her peers to The National Academy of Design in New York.

During the year, Gilot’s dealers in Madrid and Scottsdale organize exhibitions of her paintings, lithographs and selected works on paper.


In January, Stone Echoes: Original Prints by Françoise Gilot travels to The Muskegon Museum of Art in Michigan. The opening events include a book signing and lectures by Gilot and Dr. Yoakum.

In March, Gilot exhibits her work at the Cultural Center of the French Embassy in New York.

In the spring, Gilot returns to Brittany accompanied by her daughter, Aurelia, and her two grandchildren, Cecilia and Lorenzo. They take long walks on the moors visiting the views and vistas Gilot fondly remembers from her childhood. Back in her studio in Paris, Gilot paints several canvases evoking memories of her holiday in Brittany. Abstraction continues to characterize her canvases of this period.

Gregoire Gardette Editions in France publishes 1946, Picasso et la Mediterranee retrouvee, by Gilot and Maurice Frechuret, Director of the Musee Picasso d’Antibes.

In Paris, the President of France awards Gilot the L’ordre National du Merite with the rank of Officier.


May 11: For Ever and a Day, Floating Paintings and Monotypes by Françoise Gilot, opens at The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. The exhibition catalogue includes: a preface by Lisa Tremper Barnes; an introduction by Françoise Gilot; and an essay by Mel Yoakum, Ph.D. The exhibition continues until September.

In the summer, Gilot spends time with her son, Claude Picasso, and his family on their island retreat in Greece.

For her birthday in November, Gilot travels to Egypt with friends, including her two children, Claude and Paloma, to explore archeological sites along the Nile in Luxor and Karnack.

Returning to her Paris studio, Gilot completes a series of paintings inspired by her travels in Egypt.


In early May, Gilot travels to Budapest to attend the opening of an important retrospective of Endre Rozsda’s work organized by the Hungarian Government and the French Institute in Budapest.

May 12: Vernissage of Gilot’s exhibition at Fall Galerie on rue Vieille-du-Temple in Paris. Mostly composed of recent oils, many of them evoking her memories of Egypt, the exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue that includes an introduction by Gilot and an essay by Andre Verdet.

October 8: Françoise Gilot, The Early Years: 1940-50 opens at The Elkon Gallery in New York. In addition to color illustrations of all the works exhibited, Gilot writes an extensive and intimate memoir of these years - accompanied by many previously unpublished early family photographs – for the exhibition catalogue and Dina Vierny provides an insightful introduction. The exhibition continues until 22 November.


Still traveling several times each year between her studios in New York and Paris, Gilot continues her more abstract explorations, enlivening many of her canvases irony and cosmic overtones.

A 52-minute television film by Jean-Claude Jean about Françoise Gilot and her work, produced by Key Light Productions, is shown in Paris.

September 16: Gilot’s early teacher, mentor and dear life-long friend, Endre Rozsda, dies in Paris, exactly sixty years after their first meeting.

September 22: Vernissage for the exhibition of Gilot’s early works at Galerie Piltzer on avenue Matignon in Paris. Gilot attends with her children, Claude, Paloma, Aurelia, and Paloma’s husband, Eric Thevenet.

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Early Years - 1940s - 1950s - 1960s - 1970s - 1980s - 1990s - 2000s