Druskeniki (Lithuania) 1891 - 1973 Capri
Étude pour un Bas-Relief - Reclining Figure with Guitar
Bronze relief. 14 x 25 cm. Hanger on the inside. Monogrammed 'J' and 'L' in the left and right side of the quatrefoil, foundry mark "Georges Rudier. Fondeur. Paris." lower left edge and cast number "7/7" right. - On the inside a printed label "JACQUES LIPCHITZ" and a further printed label complementing the title and date in handwriting. Cast 7/7. - Fine dark brown patina.
Wilkinson 151 ("Reclining Figure with Guitar", dimensions including pedestal here)
Collection Dr. Hans Konrad Roethel; Private possession, North Germany
A large portion of the early sculpture related to Cubism was created in the form of reliefs. Like many other artists of the period, Jacques Lipchitz was confronted with the challenge of translating the primarily painterly form of Cubist art into sculpture. In the context of the problems of multiperspectivism and multidimensionality, the application of Cubist concepts to spatial art forms can, to a certain extent, be easily grasped. Thus the open three-dimensionality and activation of space in Lipchitz's sculptures are to be understood as a logical extension of the compositional principles of Cubism - particularly Synthetic Cubism.
Together with artists like Pablo Picasso, Alexander Archipenko, Constantin Brancusi and Henri Laurens, Jacques Lipchitz was among the leading protagonists of Cubist sculpture. In composing his bronze relief, which was not created until 1923, the artist leaned heavily on the formal repertoire and visual idiom of Cubist easel painting. Many of his later sculptures in the round also exhibit this connection to painting, are more or less frontally composed and are modulated in a way that relatively strongly emphasise their surface.
The present cast was once part of the collection of the German art historian and museum director Hans Konrad Roethel. Another cast of this very rare relief is now kept in Jerusalem's Israel Museum. In a variation Lipchitz used it in a composition together with four other reliefs and several sculptures for the home of the American art collector Albert C. Barnes in Merion, Pennsylvania (cf. Alan G. Wilkinson, The Sculptures of Jacques Lipchitz, A Catalogue Raisonné, vol. I, London 1996, cat. no. 152).