Avril: What a Stitch (by Eileen D.)

I came across the work of a little-known French textile artist recently while gallery browsing. She goes by the name “Avril”.

She was trained as a classical painter, in an atelier where the students would go to museums and copy the masters. However she grew tired of “dead white men’s paintings” and decided to make her own mark on them, with traditional women’s craft of needle and thread. Think of it as puncturing their pomposity with a needle. No genre or time period was safe. She tried to out-Dada the Dadaists in a few cases. Starting with a high-quality giclee (inkjet print) on canvas and using heavy cord, some pictures are modified with a running stitch, other with variations of embroidery stitches.


“After Duchamp: Fountain”

After Mondrian

“After Mondrian: Composition with Red, Blue, Yellow”

After Munch

“After Munch: The Scream”


“After Wood: Return from Bohemia”


“After Monet: Impression, Sunrise”

The “Impression: Sunrise” piece led her onto another series, using that very familiar icon of pop culture from the 1960s.


“After Wood: Spring Turning”

After Blake

“After Blake: Ancient of Days”

After Johns

“After Johns: Target with Four Faces”

After Duchamp After Da Vinci

“After Duchamp After da Vinci: Mona Lisa”

I was able to find out her full name: Avril Une d’Fou. “Fou” translates to “Fool”. Can you translate the rest?

10 Responses to “Avril: What a Stitch (by Eileen D.)”

  1. 1 Sheila April 5, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Don’t feel badly, June. I was ready to launch into a discussion of copyright infringement issues!

  2. 2 June April 3, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Confession time — Eileen asked me to look at her post to “see if it was acceptable.” I put on my editor’s cap, read it, changed a comma, made some notes about questions I might ask in the comments period, suggested a definition be added to keep people focused on the art rather than on any confusion they might feel, sent Eileen the comments, and took off my cap, feeling smug and satisfied. Editors are like that.

    And then she wrote back and asked if I got the joke.

    Deflation. Instant, entire deflation. Enough to make one eat one’s hat.

  3. 3 eileen doughty April 2, 2007 at 6:40 am

    Oui, Avril – c’est moi.

    Gotta have fun at least once a year.

    Shall we get into an ‘are parodies art’ discussion? Maybe not.

  4. 4 Peg Keeney April 2, 2007 at 4:41 am

    you got me !!! what fun. Now I am going to spend the rest of the day dreaming up new “April fish.”

  5. 5 alison April 2, 2007 at 3:38 am

    Eileen – very witty posting this on April Fool’s Day – for of course that is the translation – April Fool. And I love her sense of humour finding it playful rather than irreverent, the sort of thing a kid will do, putting a hitlerian moustache on another well known face or photo… links to graffiti?

  6. 6 terry grant April 1, 2007 at 10:53 pm

    P.S. “Fountain” is my favorite!

  7. 7 terry grant April 1, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    I was “Fou”ed! Good one.

  8. 8 clairan April 1, 2007 at 11:29 am

    What’s next? — Avril duh?

  9. 9 Betty Ford April 1, 2007 at 7:35 am

    Good one, Eileen!

    A propos,in France le premier avril is called, “le poisson d’avril,” April Fish. School kids often try to stick or slap a picture of a fish on the back of classmates.

    Diane Herbort has a wonderful collection of Victorian poisson d’avril postcards. She uses them as transfers in some of her fiber and paper art.

    Betty Ford

  10. 10 Tina Marie Rey April 1, 2007 at 5:43 am

    Bravo Eileen. You got me good!

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