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Property from the Private Collection of Pat and Michael York

Alexandra Exter

Ballroom Design for Colombine's Scarf

Auction Closed

December 1, 03:47 PM GMT


8,000 - 12,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from the Private Collection of Pat and Michael York

Alexandra Exter

1884 - 1949

Ballroom Design for Colombine's Scarf

inscribed in Latin, numbered N 88 and bearing the Lissim collection and Exter estate stamps on the reverse 

gouache and gold paint over pencil on paper

Sheet: 46 by 52.5cm, 18 by 20¾in.

Framed: 73 by 80.5cm, 28¾ by 31¾in.

Executed circa 1928

The artist
Simon and Dorothea Lissim, Dobbs Ferry, New York
Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York
David Ellis Jones, London
Acquired from the above by the present owners in 1977
Exhibition catalogue Artist of the Theatre: Alexandra Exter, New York: New York Public Library, 1974, no.28, p.38 illustrated b/w and listed
Exhibition catalogue Alexandra Exter: Marionettes, New York: Leonard Hutton Galleries, 1975, no.24, p.31 illustrated, p.35 listed
J.Chauvelin and N.Filatoff, Alexandra Exter. Monographie, Chevilly-Larue: Max Milo Editions, 2003, p.340, no.322 illustrated
New York, Vincent Astor Gallery, The New York Public Library at the Lincoln Center, Artist of the Theatre, Alexandra Exter, 1974, no.28
New York, Leonard Hutton Galleries, Alexandra Exter: Marionettes, November 1975  - February 1976, no.24

In 1926, Alexandra Exter was approached by the Danish film director, Urban Gad, to design the sets and marionettes for a film which was to tell the story of Punch and Colombine. The carnivalesque play, with roots in the 16th century commedia dell’arte, transports the characters from Venice to contemporary New York. The film was never realised but Exter created 40 marionettes, exhibited the following year at the gallery Der Sturm in Berlin, as well as numerous stage designs and paintings on the theme.

Exter’s stage designs are striking for the constructivist emphasis placed on their exposed surface textures and the architectural logic of their structures. The simplified structures that correspond to the actors' movements, further enhance the interaction between the actors and the audience. To achieve this, Exter created a combination of steel-like geometric constructions, elevated walkways and interlinked red stairs, all of which can be found in this stage design for the ballroom scene in Colombine’s Scarf.