Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935) Head of a Woman [LF 320] 8 1/2in (21.6cm) high on a 5 1/8in (13 cm) high black Belgian marble base (Carved circa 1920s.)

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Lot 12
Gaston Lachaise
(1882-1935)
Head of a Woman [LF 320] 8 1/2in (21.6cm) high on a 5 1/8in (13 cm) high black Belgian marble base

Sold for US$ 37,575 inc. premium

American Art

19 Nov 2019, 16:00 EST

New York

Property from The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Sold to Benefit the Acquisitions Fund
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)
Head of a Woman [LF 320]
signed 'G. LACHAISE' (on the base)
granite
8 1/2in (21.6cm) high on a 5 1/8in (13 cm) high black Belgian marble base
Carved circa 1920s.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    [With]Kraushaar Galleries, New York.
    Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, New York, acquired from the above.
    Gift to the present owner from the above, 1939.

    Exhibited
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, New Acquisitions: A Gift of Modern Sculpture, March 6–April 7, 1940.
    New York, Architectural League of New York, Modern Sculpture, February 12, 26, 1945.
    New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Gaston Lachaise, 1882–1935, 1947,
    p. 18, no. 41.
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, and elsewhere,
    Gaston Lachaise 1882-1935, January 6, 1963-May 18, 1964.
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Ways of Looking: Paintings,
    Sculpture and Drawings from the Museum Collections
    ,
    July 28-November 1, 1971, p. 9.
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, American Modern: Hopper to
    O'Keeffe
    , August 17, 2013-January 26, 2014, p. 44, no. 30, illustrated.

    Literature
    A.H. Barr, Jr., Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art,
    New York, 1942, p. 52, no. 337.
    A.H. Barr, Jr., Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art,
    New York, 1948, p. 312, no. 398.
    D.B. Goodall, "Gaston Lachaise, Sculptor," Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard
    University, 1969, vol. 1, pp. 424-25, 537n. 11; vol. 2, pp. 145-46, 469,
    Pl. LXVII, illustrated.
    A.H. Barr, Jr., Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art,
    1929–1967, New York, 1977, p. 557, referenced.

    We are grateful to Virginia Budny, author of the forthcoming catalogue
    raisonné sponsored by the Lachaise Foundation, for her assistance in
    preparing the following catalogue entry for this work.

    Almost nothing is known about the history of Gaston Lachaise's granite
    Head of a Woman [LF 320] before it had been donated to the Museum
    of Modern Art, New York, in 1939 by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (1874-
    1948), a founder of that museum. Although the work lacks a secure
    date, a comparison with other ideal heads of women executed by
    Lachaise in both sculpture and drawings suggests that it was created
    sometime in the 1920s.

    Lachaise loved to carve stone, pitting his imagination and will against
    the resistance of his material. In 1917, when carving a group of heads
    of women, he had already embraced the practice of working directly
    in stone without the aid of a preliminary model, seeking to manifest
    the material's qualities in his completed work. The present Head of a
    Woman is yet another example of his use of that method. The work's
    compact composition evokes the shape of the seemingly intractable
    stone from which the head had been carved, and the summary
    forms, which suggest that the process of their release from the stone
    had deliberately been arrested, contribute to the overall sense of the
    woman's dreamlike serenity—a quality that Lachaise very highly prized
    in his own life. Nonetheless, he did not put much stock in sculptural
    techniques and theories as an end in themselves. As he wrote in 1931,
    "Theories on material or way of using them are numerous and futile.
    Stone, granite, marble, clay, bronze, etc., etc., [it] all seems to come
    to this–overcome their resistance, they will respond....It is [up] to the
    artist....Ever[y]thing depends on the result, and the result depends
    on what a man [h]as to say." (Autobiographical manuscript, Gaston
    Lachaise Collection. Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke
    Rare Book and Manuscript Library, fol. 17).
Contacts
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935) Head of a Woman [LF 320] 8 1/2in (21.6cm) high on a 5 1/8in (13 cm) high black Belgian marble base (Carved circa 1920s.)
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935) Head of a Woman [LF 320] 8 1/2in (21.6cm) high on a 5 1/8in (13 cm) high black Belgian marble base (Carved circa 1920s.)
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935) Head of a Woman [LF 320] 8 1/2in (21.6cm) high on a 5 1/8in (13 cm) high black Belgian marble base (Carved circa 1920s.)
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935) Head of a Woman [LF 320] 8 1/2in (21.6cm) high on a 5 1/8in (13 cm) high black Belgian marble base (Carved circa 1920s.)
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935) Head of a Woman [LF 320] 8 1/2in (21.6cm) high on a 5 1/8in (13 cm) high black Belgian marble base (Carved circa 1920s.)
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