Lady Shalimar
"3 World Tours"
June 25 - July 29, 2016





LADY SHALIMAR
(Frances Montague 1905-1996)


Kerry Schuss gallery is pleased to present its first solo exhibition of the work of Lady Shalimar, (Frances Montague 1905-1996). Made between 1984-88, the 22 drawings on display represent Montague, then an octogenarian, at full command of the mediums of ballpoint pen, watercolor and glitter showing off her calligraphic line and distinctive penmanship. In the flamboyant aesthetics of an earlier time and with the look of theatrical posters by Toulouse Lautrec and also Leon Bakst for Ballets Russes, these drawings take the form of autobiography but with obvious embellishments. We see the character Lady Shalimar in all the drawings in an improbable number of roles including actress, ballet dancer, burlesque dancer, opera star, belly dancer and lion tamer in the circus.

As Lady Shalimar wrote in her autobiography, "Lady Montague made her debut in a fascination place! The Paris Opera Theatre, her mother's dressing room. Her mother, an opera star was singing the opera "Carmen." Later when Montague was a girl "Mother decide on dancing school in St Petersburg Russia under World Famous Balletrina, Anna Petrova. 3 World Tours with company 33 Ballets." Her autobiography goes on to mention Montague performing in an improbable number of different roles from ballet to "Dance ExcentricÓ at Club Momarte in Paris 1925, to a belly dancer in Tangiers, In many of the drawings "Surf Manor" is written which was the name of the group home in Coney Island where Shalimar lived when she made this work.

In 2015, White Columns, New York presented a solo exhibition of Lady Shalimar Montague's late work in collaboration with Healing Arts Initiative, New York.