Germaine Richier


Germaine Richier

Details & Cataloguing



Germaine Richier
1902 - 1959
signed G. Richier, numbered 5/8 and stamped with the foundry mark Fonderie Valsuani
94 x 45 x 45 cm; 37 x 17 3/4 x 17 3/4 in.
Conceived in 1945-1946, this work comes from an edition of 12 (1/8 to 8/8 and HC1, HC2, HC3, AP) and was cast after 1959. 
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Private Collection, France
Acquired from the above by the present owner


London, Anglo French Art Center, Sculptures of Germaine Richier, Engravings Studio of Studio of Roger Lacourière, 8 - 30 September 1947 (plaster)
Bern, Kunsthalle, Sculpteurs contemporains de l'école de Paris, 14 February - 29 March 1948 (plaster)
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, 13 sculptors in Paris, 26 November 1948 - 1 February 1949 (plaster)
Basel, Kunsthalle, Arp, Germaine Richier, Laurens, 1948 (plaster)
Antibes, Musée Picasso, Germaine Richier, 17 July - 30 September 1959 (other edition number)
Le Havre, Musée Maison de la Culture, Sculpture contemporaine, 6 May - 17 June 1962 (other edition number)
Zürich, Kunsthaus, Germaine Richier, 12 June - 21 July 1963 (other edition number)
Arles, Musée Réattu, Germaine Richier, 7 July - 30 September 1964, (other edition number)
Annecy, Château des Ducs de Nemours, Germaine Richier, 1967 (other edition number)
Paris, Musée Rodin, Formes Humaines, 2 May - 3 June 1968 (other edition number)
Paris, Grand Palais, Jean Paulhan à travers ses peintres, 1 February - 15 April 1974 (other edition number)
Humlebaek, Lousiana Museum of Modern Art, Germaine Richier, 13 August - 25 September 1988 (other edition number)
London, Tate Gallery, Paris Post War: Art and Existentialism, 1945-1955, 9 June - 5 September 1993 (other edition number)
Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne de la ville de Paris, Passions privées, 20 December 1995 - 24 March 1996 (other edition number)
Saint Paul de Vence, Fondation Maeght, Germaine Richier, 5 April - 25 June 1996 (other edition number)
Lausanne, Musée des Beaux Arts, De Vallotton à Dubuffet, 20 December 1996 - 23 February 1997 (other edition number)
Berlin, Akademie der Künste, Germaine Richier, 7 September - 2 November 1997 (other edition number)
New-York, Jan Krugier Gallery, TRACE: Primitive and Modern Expressions, 9 November 2001- 19 January 2002 (other edition number)
Valencia, Ivam, El Fuego bajo las cenizas (de Picasso a Basquiat), 5 May - 28 August 2005 (other edition number)
Paris, Fondation Dina Vierny - Musée Maillol, Le Feu sous les Cendres, de Picasso à Basquiat, 8 October 2005 - 13 February 2006 (other edition number)
Venice, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Germaine Richier, 2 October 2006 - 5 February 2007 (other edition number)
Bern, Kunstmuseum, Mannheim Kunsthalle, Germaine Richier, 25 November 2013 - 24 August 2014 (other edition number)


René de Solier, Germaine Richier, Contempt of Court, «Sculptures of Germaine Richier, Engravings studio of Roger Lacourière», 1947 (illustrated) Georges Limbour, La peinture Forêts en bronze, Actions, 1947, Paris (illustrated)
Pierre Francastel, La nouvelle sculpture Richier Germaine, Les sculpteurs célèbres, Editions d'Art Lucien Mazenod, Paris, 1954 (illustrated)
André Pieyre de Mandiargues, in catalogue de l'exposition, Germaine Richier, The Hanover Gallery, 1955, London (illustrated)
Bernard Milleret, Envoûtement de Germaine Richier, Les nouvelles Littéraires, Paris, 1956 (illustrated)
Suzanne Tenand, Plaisir de voir, De Germaine Richier à Léonard de Vinci, Tribune des Nations, Paris, 1956 (illustrated)
André Pieyre de Mandiargues, Germaine Richier, in Germaine Richier, Editions «Synthèses» Woluwe-Saint- Lambert, Bruxelles, 1959 (illustrated) Michel Seuphor, XV, La sculpture figurative, in La Sculpture de ce siècle, dictionnaire de la sculpture moderne, Editions Griffon, Neuchâtel, 1959 (illustrated)
Jean Cassou, Richier, Editions du Temps, Coll «Sculpteurs modernes», Paris, 1961 (illustrated)
Catherine Millet, Germaine Richier, la gran epoca de la escultura, Guadalimar, Madrid, 1978 (illustrated)
Brassaï, Germaine Richier, Les Artistes de ma vie, Editions Denoël, Paris, 1982 (illustrated)
Gilles Neret, Qu'est-ce que la sculpture moderne ?, in 30 ans d'art moderne, peintres et sculpteurs, Editions Nathan, Paris, 1988 (illustrated)
Lain Gale, Inside the bronze menagerie, Germaine Richier's sculptures were half-human, Lain Gale visits the studio of an outsider in post-war Paris, The Independent, London, 1993 (illustrated)
Frances Morris, Germaine Richier (1902-1959), in Paris Post War: Art and Existentialism, 1945-1955, Tate Gallery, 1993, London (illustrated)
Sarah Wilson, Germaine Richier (1902-1959), in Paris Post War: Art and Existentialism, 1945-1955, Tate Gallery, 1993, London (illustrated)
Maurice Frechuret, L'enfouissement, in L'envolée, l'enfouissement, Skira and Réunion des Musées Nationaux (illustrated)

Catalogue Note

During her forced stay in Switzerland, Germaine Richier went on a walk in le Valais. The wood and leaf of the Homme-Forêt were gathered during that very stroll. Germaine Richier felt so proud of the result she decided to create a grammar of the places she liked, asking her brother for example to send her an olive branch from her  home town. However, Richier was not interested in the « ready-made » : rather, her additions are reworked with soil, unearthed and remodeled until they can flawlessly blend in with the rest to create a whole. Flawlessly? Such was the opinion of René de Solier: « The webbed fingers of the Homme-Forêt, this amphibious hand, resembles a reversed graft; it is proof of the unexpected evolution of shapes which takes place as soon as the sculpture takes possession of the space surrounding it. » On his part, André Pieyre de Mandiargues litterally found fauna in her flora: « Has the sylvan characteristics of her work been truly appreciated? The Homme-Forêt for instance, whose ligneous arm made him an accomplice to the birds, hesitating between human and plant? Standing tall at a crossroads of soaring trees, beaming under rays of filtered light like little solar disks of sunshine, there was no other monument that could better complement past and present than this brand-new simulacrum of Priapus.»

Jean-Louis Prat