Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935) The Knees [LF 195] 16 3/4in high (42.5cm) on a 2in (5cm) high black Belgian marble base (Carved in 1932-33.)

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Lot 13
Gaston Lachaise
(1882-1935)
The Knees [LF 195] 16 3/4in high (42.5cm) on a 2in (5cm) high black Belgian marble base

Sold for US$ 75,075 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)
The Knees [LF 195]
signed 'G. LACHAISE' (on the base)
marble
16 3/4in high (42.5cm) on a 2in (5cm) high black Belgian marble base
Carved in 1932-33.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    The artist.
    Edward M.M. Warburg, New York, commissioned
    and acquired from the above, 1932-33.
    Gift to the present owner from the above, 1956.

    Exhibited
    New York, C.W. Kraushaar Galleries, February 1933.
    Philadelphia, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Gaston Lachaise: Architectural
    and Smaller Sculptures
    , October 27-November 17, 1933.
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Gaston Lachaise:
    Retrospective Exhibition
    , January 30-March 7, 1935, p. 27,
    no. 54, illustrated.
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Recent American Acquisitions,
    March 14-April 30, 1957, p. 4.
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Paintings, Sculpture, and Graphic Arts from the Museum Collection, April 30, 1957-February 17, 1958.
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Second Floor Permanent Collection, July 2, 1959-October 26, 1962.
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Paintings, Sculpture, and Graphic Art from the Museum Collection, October 26, 1962– November 8, 1963.
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Painting and Sculpture from the Museum Collection, July 2, 1964-April 7, 1969.
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Painting and Sculpture from the Museum Collection, December 21, 1971-January 2, 1973.
    New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Permanent Collection, October 17, 1979-March 17, 1980.

    Literature
    C.H. Bonte, "In Gallery and Studio: ... Alliance has Gaston Lachaise
    Sculpture ...," The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday Morning, October 29,
    1933, Society Section, p. 9.
    L. Eglington, "Lachaise Survives Current Retrospective with Honor,"
    The Art News, vol. 33, no. 19, February 9, 1935, p. 4, illustrated.
    P. Johnson, "Simplicity in the Home of an Art Lover," House & Garden, vol. 67, no. 1, January 1935, pp. 22-23, illustrated.
    W. Ames, "Gaston Lachaise 1882-1935," Parnassus, vol. 8, no. 3, March 1936, p. 7.
    M. Knoedler & Co., Gaston Lachaise, 1882-1935, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1947, p. 18, no. 36, the plaster model, the first bronze cast, and the present example referenced.
    A.H. Barr, Jr., "Painting and Sculpture: Recent Acquisitions, July 1,
    1955 through December 31, 1956," Museum of Modern Art Bulletin,
    vol. 24, no. 4, Summer 1957, pp. 18, 37, no. 1289, illustrated.
    H. Kramer, The Sculpture of Gaston Lachaise, New York, 1967,
    p. 49, no. 66, illustrated.
    D.B. Goodall, "Gaston Lachaise, Sculptor," Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard
    University, 1969, vol. 1, pp. 137, 661n. 23; vol. 2, pp. 317-28 448,
    Pl. CXXXIX, illustrated.
    G. Nordland, Gaston Lachaise, The Man and His Work, New York,
    1974, pp. 151-52, fig. 85, illustrated.
    A.H. Barr, Jr., Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art,
    1929-1967, New York, 1977, pp. 253, 577, illustrated.
    J. Hobhouse, The Bride Stripped Bare: The Artist and the Nude in the Twentieth Century, London, 1988, pp. 193, 195, pl. 165, illustrated.
    S. Hunter, Lachaise, New York, 1993, pp. 181, 244, illustrated.
    N.F. Weber, Patron Saints: Five Rebels Who Opened America to a
    New Art, 1928-1943
    , New York, 1992, pp. 208, 239, 240, 356.
    American Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vol. II, A Catalogue
    of Works by Artists Born between 1865 and 1885
    , New York,
    2001, p. 687, no. 324.
    J. Day, J. Stenger, K. Fremin, N. Khandekar, and V. Budny, Gaston Lachaise, Characteristics of His Bronze Sculpture, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2012, pp. 56n. 37, 66n. m.

    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.

    In the view of art historian Winslow Ames (1907-1990), Gaston
    Lachaise's "marble Knees ... is the most fully simplified of all [his]
    works, and is almost purely abstraction. The whole object has become
    a symbol ..." (W. Ames, "Gaston Lachaise 1882-1935," Parnassus,
    vol. 8, no. 3, March 1936, p. 7). The work is an enlarged version
    of a three-inch-high plaster fragment [LF 281], now owned by the
    Lachaise Foundation, New York, which had been extracted from one
    of Lachaise's statuettes. As in the case of The Knees, Lachaise often
    edited his earlier sculptures in unusual, arresting ways, creating new
    works intended to condense and intensify the composition's impact on
    the viewer while inviting prolonged contemplation.

    The white marble sculpture was commissioned in May 1932 by
    Edward M.M. Warburg (1908-1992) at the insistence of his friend
    Lincoln Kirstein (1907-1996)—both young men were among
    Lachaise's most important patrons in the early 1930s. Unlike many
    of his contemporaries, Lachaise carved his own sculptures himself.
    According to him, The Knees was "progressing" by mid-December
    and completed on January 31, 1933. Before delivering the work to
    Warburg, he displayed it on a black marble base in the window of the
    Kraushaar Galleries, New York, in February—where, in his opinion, it
    looked "superb." (Letters from Lachaise to his wife on December 11,
    1932, January 31, 1933, and February 13, 1933, Gaston Lachaise
    Collection. Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book
    and Manuscript Library). Towards the end of the year, The Knees were prominently displayed in Warburg's new apartment, at Beekman Place, New York, which had been designed by Philip Johnson (1906-2005). In 1946, Lachaise's widow ordered a bronze copy [LF 174] for his 1947 exhibition at the Knoedler Galleries, New York; that cast is now owned by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. A plaster cast is owned by the Lachaise Foundation, New York.
Contacts
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935) The Knees [LF 195] 16 3/4in high (42.5cm) on a 2in (5cm) high black Belgian marble base (Carved in 1932-33.)
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935) The Knees [LF 195] 16 3/4in high (42.5cm) on a 2in (5cm) high black Belgian marble base (Carved in 1932-33.)
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935) The Knees [LF 195] 16 3/4in high (42.5cm) on a 2in (5cm) high black Belgian marble base (Carved in 1932-33.)
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935) The Knees [LF 195] 16 3/4in high (42.5cm) on a 2in (5cm) high black Belgian marble base (Carved in 1932-33.)
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935) The Knees [LF 195] 16 3/4in high (42.5cm) on a 2in (5cm) high black Belgian marble base (Carved in 1932-33.)
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935) The Knees [LF 195] 16 3/4in high (42.5cm) on a 2in (5cm) high black Belgian marble base (Carved in 1932-33.)
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