Thérèse Bonnelalbay


Born 1931 in Magalas – France. Dien 1980 in Ivry-sur-Seine – France

Thérèse Bonnelalbay’s father was a coalman. In 1950, she moved to Marseille and worked as a nurse. She joined the Communist Party. She married in 1959 and had two children. In 1963, during a political meeting, she began scribbling in ink on a piece of paper. Encouraged by her husband, she continued her drawings. In 1975 the family moved to Ivry-sur-Seine. On the night of 16 February 1980, Thérèse Bonnelalbay disappeared. She was found a month later, drowned in the Seine, near the locks at Suresnes.
Thérèse Bonnelalbay’s drawings were quite figurative at first. We can distinguish parts of profiles, plant forms. Then, however, her gesture became more free and her work evolved to a form of abstraction, which is not without recalling the drawings of Henri Michaux, or those of Emmanuel Deriennic (Emmanuel “le Calligraphe”), a kind of ideographic mysterious writing, as if Thérèse Bonnelalbay wanted to reinvent a new vocabulary, an alphabet with hidden meaning.

Find more about this artist