115
115

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, MEXICO

Jean Metzinger
COMPOTIER ET CRUCHE DÉCORÉE DE CERFS
Estimation
400 000600 000
Lot. Vendu 422,500 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT
115

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, MEXICO

Jean Metzinger
COMPOTIER ET CRUCHE DÉCORÉE DE CERFS
Estimation
400 000600 000
Lot. Vendu 422,500 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale including Important Russian Paintings

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Jean Metzinger
1883 - 1956
COMPOTIER ET CRUCHE DÉCORÉE DE CERFS

Signed Metzinger (lower right)


Oil on canvas
36 3/4 by 26 1/4 in.
93.5 by 66.5 cm
Painted circa 1911-12.
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This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné by Bozena Nikiel.

Provenance

Galerie Philippe Reichenbach, Houston
Acquired from the above by the family of the present owners in 1960

Description

Jean Metzinger played a key role in the establishment of a distinct Cubist movement.  He exhibited in the Salon des Indépendents of 1911, and in the following months published a series of interviews and magazine articles defining the Cubist style.  Famously, Metzinger was the first to write of the fact that Picasso and Braque had dismissed traditional perspective and felt free to move around their subjects, studying them from various points (John Golding, Cubism: A History and an Analysis, London, 1959, p. 27).

Influenced by Picasso and Braque, the Duchamp brothers founded a group of modern painters call La Section d'Or (The Golden Section), to which Metzinger quickly became attached.  This group, which included artists such as Robert Delaunay, Henri Le Fauconnier and Robert de la Fresnaye, was particularly interested in the use of mathematics and geometry to create a new and modern aesthetic, and to address the representational problems associated with Cubism.  Juan Gris was an occasional visitor to the group and many artists, including Léger and Picabia, exhibited in the 1912 inaugural exhibition.  Also in 1912, Metzinger and Albert Gleizes published Du Cubisme, the most comprehensive survey of the time that discussed the theories and aims of this movement.

In Du Cubisme, Metzinger proclaimed: "To establish pictorial space, we must have recourse to tactile and motor sensations, indeed to all our faculties.  It is our whole personality which, contracting or expanding, transforms the plane of the picture.  As it reacts, this plane reflects the personality back upon the understanding of the spectator, and thus pictorial space is defined: a sensitive passage between two subjective spaces.  The forms which are situated within this space spring from a dynamism which we profess to dominate.  In order that our intelligence may possess it, let us first exercise our sensitivity.  There are only nuances.  Form appears endowed with properties identical to those of color.  It is tempered or augmented by contact with another form, it is destroyed or it flowers, it is multiplied or it disappears (translated in Robert L. Herbert (ed.), Modern Artists on Art, New York, 1986, p. 8).

Composition Cubiste is an embodiment of the principles set forth in Du Cubisme.  During this time in Metzinger's career, he "became much more interested in bold patterning and decorative detail, and was more likely to integrate typography into the composition. . . Small circular forms, representing pipe bowls, bottle openings, cup rims, clocks, fruit, or simple dot patterns, unite various areas of the composition, at times suggesting witty visual puns, such as eyes or olives" (Jean Metzinger in Retrospect (exhibition catalogue), Iowa City, 1985, p. 45).  While the present work shows the artist's mastery of abstraction and geometry, all of the compositional elements combine to create a remarkable evocation of the still-life subject.  In this way, Composition Cubiste achieves the artist's goals, set out in Du Cubisme, of engaging with and enveloping the viewer.

Fig. 1 Robert Delaunay, L'homme à la tulipe (Portrait de Jean Metzinger), 1906, Oil on canvas

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale including Important Russian Paintings

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