Gorilla numbered '7/7' and stamped with the Morris Singer Foundry stamp (lower right) bronze with a black patina 52.2 cm. (20 1/2 in.) long Conceived circa 1912
PROVENANCE: With Mercury Gallery, London
EXHIBITED: London, Zwemmer Gallery, Drawings and Sculpture by Some Contemporary Sculptors: Jacob Epstein, Frank Dobson, Henry Moore, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, 26 November-13 December 1930, cat.no.47 (plaster cast exhibited as Chimpanzee) London, Zwemmer Gallery, Christmas Exhibition, 6 December 1938-17 January 1939, cat.no.1 (the 1938 cast exhibited) Leeds, Temple Newsam, Roy de Maistre, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, 26 June-29 August 1943, cat.no.58 (the 1938 cast exhibited)
LITERATURE: Horace Brodzky, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Faber, London, 1932, p.117 (plaster cast ill.b&w) Mervyn Levy, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska: Drawings and Sculpture, Cory, Adams & Mackay, London, 1965, p.29, cat.no.69 Roger Cole, Burning to Speak; The Life and Art of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Phaidon, Oxford, 1978, p.63, cat.no.16 Evelyn Silber, Gaudier-Brzeska; Life and Art, Thames and Hudson, London, 1996, p.256, cat.no.28 (another cast ill.b&w pl.27) Jonathan Black, The Moving Agent; Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, primitivism, technology and violence in We the Moderns; Gaudier-Brzeska and the Birth of Modern Sculpture, Cambridge, Kettles Yard, 2007, p.91 (another cast ill.)
Silber suggests that the plaster version of Gorilla was most likely produced in October 1912 on the grounds of 'the formal daring of the cut-off, semi-relief format, the monumentality of the work and its exaggerated expression' (Evelyn Silber, Gaudier-Brzeska; Life and Art, Thames and Hudson, London, 1996, p.256). A single bronze cast was taken from the plaster by Anton Zwemmer in 1938, a further seven casts, of which the present lot is an example, were produced prior to 1973 by the Morris Singer Foundry.