lithograph printed in brown ink on deckle edged Arches paper. Signed and numbered in pencil.
Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973) was a Cubist sculptor, Painter and Lithographer. From late 1914. Lipchitz retained highly figurative and legible components in his work leading up to 1915–16, after which naturalist and descriptive elements were muted, dominated by a synthetic style of Crystal Cubism. In 1920 Lipchitz held his first solo exhibition, at Léon Rosenberg's Galerie L'Effort Moderne in Paris. Fleeing the Nazis he came to the US and settled in New York City and eventually Hastings-on-Hudson.
Jacques Lipchitz was born Chaim Jacob Lipschitz, in a Litvak family, son of a building contractor in Druskininkai, Lithuania, then within the Russian Empire. At first, under the influence of his father, he studied engineering, but soon after, supported by his mother he moved to Paris (1909) to study at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Julian.
It was there, in the artistic communities of Montmartre and Montparnasse, that he joined a group of artists that included Juan Gris and Pablo Picasso as well as where his friend, Amedeo Modigliani, painted Jacques and Berthe Lipchitz.
Living in this environment, Lipchitz soon began to create Cubist sculpture. In 1912 he exhibited at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Salon d'Automne with his first solo show held at Léonce Rosenberg's Galerie L'Effort Moderne in Paris in 1920. In 1922 he was commissioned by the Barnes Foundation in Merion, Pennsylvania to execute five bas-reliefs.
With artistic innovation at its height, in the 1920s he experimented with abstract forms he called transparent sculptures. Later he developed a more dynamic style, which he applied with telling effect to bronze compositions of figures and animals.
With artistic innovation at its height, in the 1920s he experimented with abstract forms he called transparent sculptures. Later he developed a more dynamic style, which he applied with telling effect to bronze figure and animal compositions.
With the German occupation of France during World War II, and the deportation of Jews to the Nazi death camps, Jacques Lipchitz had to flee France. With the assistance of the American journalist Varian Fry in Marseille, he escaped the Nazi regime and went to the United States. There, he eventually settled in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. In 1954 a Lipchitz retrospective traveled from The Museum of Modern Art in New York to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and The Cleveland Museum of Art. In 1959, his series of small bronzes "To the Limit of the Possible" was shown at Fine Arts Associates in New York. Lipchitz taught one of the most famous contemporary artists, Marcel Mouly.
Beginning in 1963 he returned to Europe where he worked for several months of each year in Pietrasanta, Italy. In 1972 his autobiography was published on the occasion of an exhibition of his sculpture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
He had studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris from 1909 to 1911 and at the Academy Julian. He arrived in America when the Abstract Expressionist movement was beginning to take hold, and this likely influenced the much more emotional expression of the later part of his career. His work was much more emotional and rounded in form than the earlier cubist work, and is subject matter was epic, reflecting his interest in myths, heroic tales and religious symbolism. La Ruche, the artists' complex south of Montparnasse that Lipchitz knew well during his first years in Paris. He was a denizen of La Ruche which provided refuge for Jewish emigres like Chaim Soutine, Amedeo Modigliani and Marc Chagall, who shared with Lipchitz an irrepressible expressionist impulse. The balance between unbridled Eastern expressiveness and French clarity helps characterize Lipchitz's successful Parisian work. Jacques Lipchitz died in Capri, Italy. His body was flown to Jerusalem for burial.
About Jacques Lipchitz
Among the foremost 20th-century Cubist sculptors, Jacques Lipchitz produced muscular, expressive works exploring biblical and mythological stories and such universal human themes as fidelity, love, and motherhood. He moved to Paris in 1909, where he began his career and became influenced by the nascent cubist style of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque and the aesthetic of the machine. For Lipchitz, Cubism was a form of emancipation from preceding artistic movements, as his angular, vigorously modeled forms attest. Working principally in bronze (his favorite medium) and focused on the figure, he represented such allegories as The Rape of Europa, The Song of Songs, and the embrace of a mother and child, with emotion and sensitivity. “I never deserted the subject, even in my most abstract, cubist sculptures,” he once said, “because I have always believed that there must be communication between the artist and the spectator.”
Lithuanian-French, 1891-1973, Druskininkai, Lithuania