Paris, musée de l’Orangerie, Apollinaire : Le regard du poète, 5 April-18 July 2016
On his return to Paris from the United States in 1916 Howard made some of the most innovative and idiosyncratic sculptures of his career, combining cubist forms with polychromy. In sculpture they find few precedents at the time and recall paintings from the concurrent Futurist movement in Italy, such as Giacomo Balla’s Abstract Speed + Sound (1913-1914). The defining icon of the group is the multifaceted Accordéoniste, which, with its noisy sense of colour and motion, conjures up the evocative image of Paris dance halls. It also has a biographic aspect in that it was made at the same time that Howard appeared in Guillaume Apollinaire's Les mamelles de Tirésias in which he played the accordion and made sound effects.
Overall the condition of the plaster is very good with minor dirt and wear to the surface consistent with age. There is minor wear to the polychromy, in particular to the edges. The polychromy has flaked in a few areas, such as the round base, and it appears to have been slightly refreshed at these points. There is a particular area of flaking and restoration to the paint at the man’s proper right thigh. There are some further minor restorations to the paint, in particular at the top and sides of the accordion where the colour is a lighter green; possibly to a white and yellow section below the accordionist; the green to the left of the accordionist; the woman's face and breast; the dark blue area to the top of the base on the dancers' side; and to some of the edges of the base. There are some minor scratches, including around the base. There is a small fissure midway through the accordion. There are a few small holes, including to the man’s proper right arm. There are some specks of dirt, including to the woman. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."