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Nikita Dmitriev

is a contributor to the Brooklyn Rail.

Oda Jaune: Beyond Gravity

The life of Bulgarian painter Michaela Danowska, better known by her pseudonym Oda Jaune, might have formed the basis of a novel by Proust, Sartre, or Nabokov. Coming to Germany in order to study painting 20 years ago, a beautiful high school graduate from a post-communist Balkan nation falls in love with her eminent professor—artist Jörg Immendorff—and has a daughter with him. Soon after, the professor dies prematurely, and the young widow moves to Paris, becoming a darling of the city’s bohème. Told this way, however, the story misses a crucial point: Oda Jaune is not just a stock femme fatale, but also an accomplished neo-classical painter in her own right.

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The Brooklyn Rail

JUL-AUG 2020

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