Lot 22
  • 22

JACQUES LIPCHITZ | Half Standing Figure

280,000 - 350,000 GBP
309,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Jacques Lipchitz
  • Half Standing Figure
  • inscribed J Lipchitz, numbered 1/7, stamped Modern Art Fdry. N.Y and marked with the artist's thumbprint
  • bronze
  • height: 47.6cm.
  • 18 3/4 in.
  • Conceived in 1915 and cast in bronze in an edition of 7 and at least 2 lead casts. This example was cast in the artist's lifetime by the Modern Art Foundry, New York.


Marlborough Gallery, New York Private Collection, USA (acquired from the above in the early 1980s)

Acquired by the present owner in 2004


Jacques Lipchitz & H. H. Arnason, Jacques Lipchitz: Sketches in Bronze, London, 1969, no. 2, another cast illustrated p. 36 (titled Figure) Jacques Lipchitz & H. H. Arnason, My Life in Sculpture, New York, 1972, no. 26, another cast illustrated p. 36

Alan G. Wilkinson, The Sculpture of Jacques Lipchitz: A Catalogue Raisonné, London, 1996, vol. I, no. 41, another cast illustrated p. 43

Catalogue Note

Dating from 1915, Half Standing Figure belongs to a ground-breaking period in Lipchitz’s sculptural work, when he moved away from figuration and embraced a highly stylised, abstract manner of representation. Many of his sculptures of this period retain the human form as their motif, however his standing or seated figures are built out of linear, geometric shapes that give his compositions a highly architectural feel. In the words of Alan Wilkinson, ‘The architectural/figurative bronzes and carvings of 1915-16 […] constitute Lipchitz’s most original contribution to the early history of Cubist sculpture. Here he goes far beyond merely translating images from Cubist painting into three dimensions. Architectural forms become a metaphor for the human figure, or, if anatomical references are dominant, the human figure becomes a metaphor for architecture’ (A. G. Wilkinson, Jacques Lipchitz: A Life in Sculpture (exhibition catalogue), Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1989, pp. 11-13). The elongated, vertical Half Standing Figure combines the dominant rectangular shapes with several curved and zig-zag lines. Unlike his earlier figurative sculptures, which were conceived to be seen frontally, this work and others from this period achieve a three-dimensionality which forces the viewer to consider the sculpture as an object is space. As the artist later recalled: ‘I was definitely building up and composing the idea of a human figure from abstract sculptural elements of line, plane, and volume; of mass contrasted with void completely realized in three dimensions. These works, beginning with the Head, were the resolutions of my problems after I had first gone too far in the direction of abstraction and then had reacted too far back in the direction of representation. Now I had the balance between the nonfigurative form and figuration for which I was unconsciously seeking’ (J. Lipchitz & H. H. Arnason, op. cit., 1972, p. 34).

Half Standing Figure was cast in both bronze and lead; two lead casts are now in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven.

The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Pierre Levai.