Lot 36
  • 36

Jacques Lipchitz

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  • Jacques Lipchitz
  • inscribed JLipchitz, numbered 7/7 and stamped with the foundry mark Modern Art Fdry N.Y. and with the artist's thumbprint
  • bronze
  • height: 77.5cm., 30 1/2 in.


Fine Arts Associates, New York
Herbert Singer, New York (acquired from the above on 27th February 1957)
Thence by descent


New York, Otto Gerson Gallery, Inc., Lipchitz, 1961, no. S, illustrated in the catalogue
New York, Marlborough Gerson Gallery, Lipchitz, 1968, no. 10, illustrated in the catalogue
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jacques Lipchitz: His Life in Sculpture, 1972, no. 7


Roger Vitrac, Jacques Lipchitz, Paris, 1929, illustration of another cast p. 23
Maurice Raynal, Jacques Lipchitz, Paris, 1947, illustration of another cast p. 11
Robert Goldwater, Lipchitz, Cologne, 1954, illustration of another cast pl. 1
Henry R. Hope, The Sculpture of Jacques Lipchitz, New York, 1954, illustration of another cast p. 26
Abraham Marie Hammacher, Jacques Lipchitz: His Sculpture, London, 1961, no. 15, illustration of another cast
Irene Patai, Encounters: The Life of Jacques Lipchitz, New York, 1961, illustration of another cast fig. 19
H. Harvard Arnason, Jacques Lipchitz: Sketches in Bronze, London, 1969, fig. 1, illustration of another cast p. 8
Jacques Lipchitz & H. Harvard Arnason, My Life in Sculpture, New York, 1972, no. 12, illustrated p. 21
Jane Wales, 'Lipchitz Exhibition is at the Metropolitan', in Park East, New York, 22nd June 1972, illustrated p. 4
Albert E. Elsen, Origins of Modern Sculpture: Pioneers and Premises, New York, 1974, illustration of another cast fig. 35
Abraham Marie Hammacher, Jacques Lipchitz, New York, 1975, no. 24, illustration of another cast p. 31
Alan G. Wilkinson, The Sculpture of Jacques Lipchitz. A Catalogue RaisonnĂ©, New York, 1996, vol. I, no. 21, illustration of another cast  p. 40

Catalogue Note

In the summer of 1914 Lipchitz travelled to Spain with Diego Rivera and other friends and, caught by the outbreak of the war, stayed there for six months, only returning to Paris at the end of the year. It was during this time that he conceived Sailor with Guitar, inspired by a man he observed on the island of Mallorca. Having witnessed a scene of a young sailor dancing around a pretty girl and playing the guitar, he made several drawings of this subject, and executed clay and plaster models of the sculpture on his return to Madrid.


Alan G. Wilkinson discussed the present work and its key position in the development of Cubism: 'Sailor with Guitar marks a radical departure in Lipchitz's working method, in what he called ''the final step toward cubism.'' While he maintained that the sculpture retained a degree of realism, true to the actual appearance of his subject, Lipchitz also recognized the crucial difference in approach from his previous work: ''I was finally building up the figure from its abstract forms, not merely simplifying and geometrizing a realistic figure.'' Or, as he put it another way: ''all the elements of the body derive from different cubist shapes.'' In a tentative, exploratory manner, Lipchitz was moving in the direction of Synthetic Cubism, in which abstract forms were the point of departure, leading to and ultimately suggesting the subject matter. [...] What gives Sailor with Guitar its historical importance in the evolution of Cubist sculpture is the shift from a dependence on starting with perceived reality to the freedom of working from the imagination toward the subject matter' (A. G. Wilkinson, in Jacques Lipchitz. A Life in Sculpture (exhibition catalogue), Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1989, p. 68).

Other casts from this edition are in the collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, The Barnes Foundation in Marion, Pennsylvania, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and St. Louis Art Museum.