Parent was a pupil of Alfred Pellan at the École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal, where she met Jean Benoit, marrying him when she was twenty-three. The couple became central to postwar surrealism. Despite the success of her exhibition at the Dominion Gallery in Montreal, she emigrated to Paris with her husband in 1948. Her role in the E.R.O.S. International Exhibition of Surrealism, at Galerie Daniel Cordier in December 1959 to January 1960, went beyond helping Jean Benoit in his Execution of Sade's Will. With strands of her own hair, she fashioned a necktie adorned with a pearl that became the poster for the exhibition. She also organized the "crypt of fetishism," and found the most original definitions for insertion in the Boîte alerte, a "succinct lexicon of eroticism," that served as a catalog. Delighted by her piquant inspiration, Breton declared: "In Mimi's thistle eyes Armida's midnight gardens glow." Parent composed "dream boxes," which did not in the least resemble Joseph Cornell's, in the sense that in Parent's creations painting prevailed over assemblage. Each box is a sort of portable theater, with a fantastic decor for a backdrop against which a sleepwalking figure occasionally stands out. In her exhibition at Galerie Andre-Francois Petit, in May-June 1984, all of her boxes bore intriguing titles, for example, Le Guetteur des rosées (1981) and Le Voyageur pyrogéne (1983). Moreover, each box carried a poetic sentence that evoked its meaning. The French Canadian couple was honored in 2004 at the Musk. National des Beaux-Arts in Quebec with an exhibit titled, Mimi Parent et Jean Benoit, Surréalistes. Mimi Parent's last creative work was a series of drawings in India ink, Les Anges Noirs et leur Méfaits, published in issue No. 23 of the review Fin (June 2005), which Jean Benoît claimed were "premonitory."  

Mimi Parent

Born 1924 in Montreal; died 2005 in Villars-sur-Olon, Switzerland.  

Masculin- Féminin, 1959