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PROPERTY FROM THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, SOLD TO BENEFIT THE ACQUISITIONS FUND

Elie Nadelman
WOUNDED BULL
Estimate
70,000100,000
LOT SOLD. 62,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
17

PROPERTY FROM THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, SOLD TO BENEFIT THE ACQUISITIONS FUND

Elie Nadelman
WOUNDED BULL
Estimate
70,000100,000
LOT SOLD. 62,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

American Art

|
New York

Elie Nadelman
1882 - 1946
WOUNDED BULL
bronze
5 7/8 by 4 by 11 1/2 inches
(14.9 by 10.2 by 29.2 cm)
Conceived in 1915. 
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Viola Spiess Flannery Nadelman (the artist's wife)
Gift to the present owner from the above, 1947

Exhibited

New York, The Museum of Modern Art, New Acquisitions, January-March 1948
New York, The Museum of Modern Art; Baltimore, Maryland, Baltimore Museum of Art; Boston, Massachusetts, Institute of Contemporary Art, The Sculpture of Elie Nadelman, October 1948-April 1949, no. 13, pp. 22, 62, illustrated 
New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Paintings, Sculpture, and Graphic Arts from the Museum Collection, August-October 1950; June 1952-August 1954; October 1954-January 1955
ICE-F-24-54: American Art of the XX Century, February 1955-September 1956, no. 122
New York, NBC Broadcasting Co., Dave Garroway Show, October 28, 1958
New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Second Floor Permanent Collection, July 1959-November 1960
Westbury, New York, Country Art Gallery, Birds and Beasts from The Museum of Modern Art, December 1960-January 1961
New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Painting and Sculpture from The Museum Collection, July 1964-April 1969
New York, Whitney Museum of American Art; Washington, D.C., Hirshhorn Museum, The Sculpture and Drawings of Elie Nadelman, September 1975-February 1976, no. 50, p. 57, illustrated
New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Permanent Collection, October 1976-October 1977

Literature

Alfred H. Barr, Jr., ed., Painting and Sculpture in The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1948, no. 555, pp. 253, 316, illustrated
Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Painting and Sculpture in The Museum of Modern Art 1929-1967, New York, 1967, pp. 250, 572, illustrated
Lincoln Kirstein, Elie Nadelman, New York, 1973, no. 184, pp. 148, 305, illustrated pl. 58
Alicia Legg, ed., Painting and Sculpture in The Museum of Modern Art: Catalogue of the Collection with Selected Works on Paper to January 1988, New York, 1988, p. 86

Catalogue Note

The present work is one in an edition of approximately six Wounded Bull bronzes, cast during the artist's lifetime. 

Elie Nadelman arrived in Paris in 1904, quickly establishing himself within the art community and achieving his first success in 1905, when three of his drawings were accepted at the Salon d’Automne. In April 1909 Galerie E. Druet held a solo exhibition of the artist’s sculpture. The exhibition was an instant sensation, and Nadelman captured the attention of the great art patrons Leo and Gertrude Stein, as well as Alfred Stieglitz. Writes Barbara Haskell, “Nadelman’s radical simplification of form and stylized distortion of shapes became a pulse point of debate about the future of sculpture, reportedly disturbing even [Pablo] Picasso and stimulating Amedeo Modigliani to turn temporarily to sculpture” (Elie Nadelman: Sculptor of Modern Life, New York 2003, p. 31).

Indeed, works such as Standing Bull and Wounded Bull compellingly demonstrate Nadelman’s complex relationship with Picasso and the tenets of Cubism. Nadelman met Picasso a few months prior to the Druet exhibition in 1908 in an introduction at his studio arranged by Leo Stein. Picasso saw firsthand the manner in which Nadelman distilled his subject down to its purest planes and lines. Though Nadelman’s work certainly influenced Picasso as he developed the tenets of analytical cubism a few years later, the two artists inherently disagreed with one another in their conception of the relationship between realism and abstraction. Indeed, Nadelman never fully abandoned representation in his work, believing that art should never be divorced from nature, and he saw the work of Picasso and the Cubists as subverting the order and logic inherent to the forms of natural world.

Wounded Bull and Standing Bull were cast during Nadelman’s lifetime, each in an edition of approximately six bronzes. They exemplify the artist’s elegant vision of the natural world, which he summarized by saying, “The subject of any work of art is for me nothing but a pretext for creating significant form” (quoted in Lincoln Kirstein, Elie Nadelman, New York, 1973, p. 265). Rejecting extraneous detail or embellishment in these works, Nadelman focuses on the bull’s curves and form, ultimately achieving a careful synthesis of representation and abstraction that emphasizes the beauty and power of the animal.

American Art

|
New York