19 E AST 66 TH S TR EET
N EW Y ORK , NY 10065
W W W. R O S E NB E RGC O . C OM
C O N T E N T S
Introduction by Marianne Rosenberg
Ismael González de la Serna
Renato (René) Paresce
I N T R O D U C T I O N
“Without poets, without artists...everything would fall apart into chaos. There would be no more seasons, no more civilizations, no more thought, no more humanity, no more life even; and impotent darkness would reign forever. Poets and artists together determine the features of their age, and the future meekly conforms to their edit.” G UILL AUM E A POLLINA IRE
N 1913, WHEN GUILLAUME APOLLINAIRE proclaimed that artists were the defenders
of mankind, the future was Promethean, and the present was in love with speed, machines, and drunk on cosmopolitan novelties. It was a stateless Guillaume Apollinaire, born in obscure circumstances as Wilhelm de Kostrowitzky, who became the spokesman for the then-visionary universe of the literary and artistic world, blurring the borders of the pen and brush. Apollinaire could not have known how tragically naive his words would prove to be: less than a year later, the world would be overtaken by the “impotent darkness” of the First World War. Poems and paintings could not prevent the collapse of civilizations nor the death of millions — including Apollinaire himself. Attempts to define artistic currents and experiments of the period yielded terminology that proved more obscure than helpful. “Modernism,” used as short-hand to express rejection of the old ways, was insufficient to capture the seemingly limitless exuberant creativity. “Modernism” spawned a litany of “isms” — Dadaism, Surrealism, Cubism, Orphism, Futurism, Expressionism, Vorticism, and Suprematism, to name but a few. These titles were more than pure theory, and were largely intended to evoke new sensations, calling upon the viewer’s sixth sense. This was so, even though several artists published pamphlets, manifestos, and essays describing the basis of their so-called new movement — such as Gleizes and Metzinger’s Du Cubisme in 1912, or the Blast publications by the Vorticists in 1914 and 1915, or Marinetti’s Manifesto del Futurismo in 1909. The ease with which participants categorized and labeled these movements belies a porous and fluid art world in which artists tested and
combined aspects of each of these supposedly distinct movements. These boundaries are artificial, and may in fact preclude understanding: for example, Henry Valensi’s 1930 La Casbah d’Alger combines the unearthly qualities of Surrealism, the structural play of Cubism, and the garish colors of Fauvism, yet Valensi is usually categorized as simply a Cubist. In a few years, the Cubists’s playbook had moved far from its intellectual constructs, but was still firmly based on the precepts of more “classic” works such as Gleizes’s 1915 Portrait de Florent Schmitt. Whether the “Cubist” label (a term Apollinaire coined) is appropriately used or not with respect to La Casbah d’Alger is ultimately not as important as recognizing that it unquestionably fits within the aesthetic of the period by reinventing forms and colors. It is reinvention without ever turning away from the concepts on which art history is built. Accordingly, the title of this publication can only be viewed as an attempt to delineate a moment in history that feels both inherently distinctive and impossible to accurately define. The artists presented here defy categorization, and that is one of the striking aspects that make the works so appealing. Exceptions are validated: Blanche Lazzell was an American artist, but studied with Albert Gleizes, and her works illustrated here were made during her stay in Paris; Hélion was French, but made his cubist composition whilst living in the US between the World Wars. There is a liberating force in the assembled paintings, because they each stand as a powerful statement of the will to change the way we look at art. These works initiated the now-accepted dislocation between art and reality. Apollinaire was not entirely wrong, of course. If he and his fellow poets and artists could not ward off the violence, their art did capture the disparate movements and chaos of the period. Peace in the early twentieth century was only transient, fraught with economic woes and political upheavals. Cubist works became newly infused with blazing colors, as in Valmier’s exquisitely balanced collage, Personnage debout (1920). Aspects of Surrealism pervade Lurçat’s evocative still lifes and depiction of a river, as well as Survage’s 1940 landscape, in which an irreverent clown makes an appearance.
During the first half of the twentieth century, fine and visual arts and the written word took paths previously deemed unacceptable. Tables are slanted, as in Juan Gris’s delicate depiction of a bouquet of flowers, and a reclining nude is orange and angular in Henri Laurens’s gouache. Even words are no longer confined to their proper alignment on the page: Apollinaire’s calligrammes turn words into shapes, just as Cubist works incorporate words. The work of Paul Éluard links the written word with the world of painting and spans that heady creative time: Le cirque (Triptyque), his rare Surrealist work of 1913, portrays the joyous world of the Cirque Modiano, while in 1942 thousands of copies of his most celebrated poem “Liberté”— expressing an anguished cry against tyranny — were dropped by the Royal Air Force over occupied France. The works illustrated in this catalogue are simply fine examples of what certain of the leading artists in the early twentieth century were creating by drawing upon each other’s forms and colors and thoughts. This is not intended nor could it be a complete compendium, but it is a beautiful mosaic of a unique slice of European history that lives on in today’s contemporary art. This time period forever changed artists’ aesthetic vision, but it also altered the role of the art dealer: great dealers took their place among the artists and the poets, propelling all of them further than they could have gone alone. Among them were Léonce Rosenberg and his Galerie de l’Effort Moderne, and Paul Rosenberg, to both of whom this publication is dedicated.
M ARI ANNE R O SENBERG
G U I L L A U M E
A P O L L I N A I R E
UILLAUME APOLLINAIRE was a poet, art critic, and writer at the forefront
of Cubism, Surrealism, and Orphism. With a legacy as an innovator of French poetry, Apollinaire served as the primary intermediary between artistic communities in early twentieth century Paris. Credited with coining the term Cubism, in 1911 Apollinaire wrote the preface to the
first Cubist exhibition outside Paris — the VIII Salon des Independants, in Brussels. As an early member of the Section d’Or, he delivered the group’s opening address in 1912, and his
1913 volume The Cubist Painters, Aesthetic Meditations is considered a manifesto for the
movement. Apollinaire identified ten painters as the Section d’Or leaders: Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes (see page 30), Marie Laurencin, Henri Rousseau (see page 88), Juan Gris (see page 34), Fernand Léger (see page 68), Francis Picabia, and Marcel Duchamp. Apollinaire was painted first by Metzinger and later by Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, and other members of the Parisian avant-garde. He collected works by his friends, owning works throughout his life by Picasso, Braque, Paul Cézanne, Giorgio de Chirico, André Derain, Laurencin, Henri Matisse, and Rousseau, among others. Famous for his poems in which the text was visually arranged to form pictures, his collection Calligrammes was published a few months before his death in 1918. As Apollinaire’s calligrammes became well-known, his small drawings and doodles also gained recognition as part of his visual poetry. The work featured here, Sans titre (nature morte à l’encrier, paquet de tabac, cendrier et boîte d’allumettes) (1916), is a rare finished piece, distinguished by its painterly qualities. As a still life depicting typical items on a desk, this work on paper is quite contiguous with Apollinaire’s literary interests.
b. 1880, Rome, Italy (?) d. 1918, Paris, France
Sans titre (nature morte à l’encrier, paquet de tabac, cendrier et boîte d’allumettes), 1916 Watercolor on paper
6.3 x 4.1 in.
Signed and dated Guillaume Apollinaire 1916 lower right.
G I A C O M O
B A L L A
IACOMO BALLA was a founding member of the Futurist movement in
painting. In his twenties, Balla moved to Rome to pursue art, despite little formal training. When he traveled to Paris in 1900, he was greatly influenced by French Neo-Impressionism; upon his return to Rome, he adopted the Neo-Impressionist style and imparted it to the younger
artists Umberto Boccioni and Gino Severini (see page 90). Balla’s early works reflect contemporary French trends, but also hint at his lifelong interest in rendering light and its effects. Balla, Boccioni, and Severini gradually came under the
influence of the Milanese poet Filippo Marinetti, who in 1909 launched the Futurist literary movement. In 1910 Balla and other Italian artists published the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting. Unlike most Futurists, Balla was a lyrical painter, unconcerned with violent machinism. Balla’s work does, however, convey an interest in simultaneity, or the rendering of motion by concurrently showing many aspects of a moving object. This practice of capturing a single moment in a series of planes originally derived from Cubism, but was also tied to Balla’s interest in the technology behind photography. During the First World War, Balla composed a series of paintings in which he attempted to convey the impression of movement or velocity through the use of planes of color; these works are perhaps the most abstract of all Futurist paintings. After the war, he remained faithful to the Futurist style long after its other practitioners had abandoned it, and during these years he also explored stage design, graphic design, and even acting. In Forze spaziali (Project for a lampshade) (c. 1925), Balla’s concern with lyric movement is evident — even in this work that purports functionality. The motion of this piece’s pointed shapes seems to expose an unknown character of light itself, as the jagged refractions gesture toward a divided source.
b. 1871, Turin, Italy d. 1958, Rome, Italy
Forze spaziali (Project for a lampshade), c. 1925 Tempera on cardboard
4.5 x 14.5 in.
H A N S
B U R K H A R D T
ORN IN SWITZERLAND at the beginning of the twentieth century, Hans
Burkhardt grew up in an orphanage in Basel. He frequently visited the museum there, teaching himself how to paint by copying the masterpieces on display. As a young man, Burkhardt moved to New York, and while he worked in the decorating department of a furniture factory, Burkhardt spent
his nights and weekends attending art classes at the Cooper Union School of the Arts. Here, he met Willem de Kooning and Arshile Gorky, who offered to give Burkhardt private lessons. From 1928 to 1937, Burkhardt shared Gorky’s studio.
In 1937, Burkhardt moved to Los Angeles, becoming one of the critical modernists of the West Coast. Stendahl Gallery held Burkhardt’s first solo show in 1939. That same year Burkhardt drew Untitled. The late 1930s were the beginning of his anti-war compositions, and with the dropping on the atom bombs in the Second World War, his apocalyptic war themes developed a pronounced Abstract Expressionist style. In the untitled work featured here, the motions of the nude figures appear simultaneously violent and sensual; the rounded curves of each body barely offset the intense linear movement of limbs. The charcoal has a sharp edge, despite finding softness in the indicated shadows. Though his unique oeuvre blends aspects of Abstract Expressionism and Cubism, it doesn’t adhere to any tenets: as Burkhardt once said, “I don't make a painting to please people, I make it to express something. If people like it, it's fine; if they don't like it, it's just too damn bad.”
b. 1904, Basel, Switzerland d. 1994, Los Angeles, California
Untitled, 1939 Charcoal on paper
17.4 x 23.9 in.
Signed and dated H Burkhardt 39 lower center.
J O S E P H
C S Á K Y
OSEPH CSÁKY was a pioneer of Cubist sculpture who, contemporaneously with
Pablo Picasso, revolutionized the discipline. Csáky’s artistic education began in 1905, when he enrolled at the Mintarajziskola (the School of Decorative Arts) in Budapest. He developed his skill-set as a sculptor working in the studio of painter and designer László Kimnach, and later in a porcelain
manufacturer and lead foundry. Csáky moved to Paris in 1908 to attend the Académie de
la Palette, and moved into the famous artist studio complex La Ruche (The Beehive), where he began working in the Cubist vein. Csáky’s work of the time reveals a Cubist understanding of space, with planes transforming into abstract, architectonic forms. Csáky’s sculptural interpretations of Cubist motifs are characterized by elements borrowed from non-western sculpture, the integration of open space, and the use of geometry. Cubist sculpture is rooted in reducing objects to component planes and geometric solids such as cubes, spheres, cylinders, and cones, which explains Csáky’s multiple iterations of Tête cubiste in different media — including the works on paper Composition cubiste (1919) and Imbrication de cônes (1920). Both works masterfully utilize the negative space (the paper itself) to demonstrate a contrasting flatness, which in turn elevates the volume produced by the layers of gouache and India ink.
b. 1888, Szeged, Austria-Hungary d. 1971, Paris, France
Composition cubist, 1919 India ink and watercolor on paper Signed Csรกky lower right.
13.4 x 10 in.
Imbrication de cĂ´nes, 1920 Gouache and India ink on brown paper Signed CsĂĄky lower right.
12.1 x 9.8 in.
I S M A E L D E
G O N Z Á L E Z
S E R N A
SMAEL GONZÁLEZ DE LA SERNA was a Spanish artist known for his contributions to
the twentieth-century avant-garde. As a young man, he attended the Real Academia de Bellas Artes in his hometown of Granada, where he befriended the poet Federico García Lorca. In 1917, an exhibition of French Impressionists came to the city. The show’s revolutionary aesthetic had a profound effect on de la Serna, which can be seen in his illustrations for Lorca’s first book, Impresiones y Paisajes. In 1921, de la Serna moved to Paris and joined the avant-garde Spanish school of Paris, influenced by the Cubists Georges Braque and fellow Spaniard Pablo Picasso. The influential art critic Tériade said that Picasso declared of de la Serna: “At last, a true painter! As grand as Juan Gris!” In 1927 — the year de la Serna completed Intérieur cubiste à la guitare — Tériade devoted an article to him in his art journal Cahiers d’Art, propelling him to transcontinental success. As evident in the featured work on paper, de la Serna was masterful at Cubist composition; the complex layers simultaneously recede and push the boundaries of the artwork’s proscenium. With just tempera and collage, de la Serna was able to create this rich, wonderfully textured interior scene. Famously, the German dealer Alfred Flechtheim organized a sold-out show of de la Serna’s works. The success of this exhibition led to a contract and several other group shows; when the Nazis came to power, however, the majority of Flechtheim’s inventory was either looted or destroyed, and Flechtheim was forced to annul his artist contracts. Fortunately, de la Serna had also signed contracts with the Galerie Zak in Paris and with the Galerie Le Centaure in Brussels. Further, the renowned Paris dealer Paul Guillaume organized an exhibition of fifty of his works, which led to de la Serna’s 1936 participation in a group exhibition at the Musée du Jeu de Paume in Paris, and the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris International Exhibition in 1937. During his lifetime, he also exhibited at the Hammer Galleries in New York and the
Tate Gallery in London. In 1974, just a few years after his death, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris held a major retrospective of his works.
b. 1898, Granada, Spain d. 1968, Paris, France 20
Intérieur cubiste à la guitare, 1927 Tempera and collage on paper
20 x 14 in.
Signed and dated I. de la Serna –27– lower right.
F R A N K
D O B S O N
RANK DOBSON was the son of a commercial artist of the same name. From
1902–04, Dobson worked under the tutelage of the artist William Reynolds-
Stephens. During this early phase of his career, Dobson primarily produced paintings influenced by Cubism and Futurism, and he received his first solo show at the Chenil Gallery in London in 1914. After the First World War,
Dobson’s focus shifted and he gained increasing success as a pioneer of modern British sculpture. He exhibited at the Venice Biennale in both 1924 and 1926. Finding consistent inspiration in the female form, Dobson produced monumental works,
drawing on a variety of sources — including the work of Aristide Maillol, as well as African sculpture. Dobson’s training as a painter is evident in his works on paper, many of which were intended as studies for three-dimensional works. Dobson’s modeling skills are apparent in his red chalk drawings, such as Two Women (1943), created by layering and smudging the medium around the page, masterfully producing volume. It is a prime example of Dobson’s stylized, full-figured, female bodies with sweeping gestures and blocks of watercolor added over or around the subjects. Although Dobson’s simplified, female forms eventually fell out of favor when the British avant-garde shifted towards abstraction, his work retains a sense of living, breathing humanity.
b. 1886, London, England d. 1963, London, England
Two Women, 1943 Mixed media on paper
12.25 x 16 in.
Signed and dated Frank Dobson/43 lower center.
C É S A R
D O M E L A
ÉSAR DOMELA was a Dutch painter, sculptor, photographer, and
typographer, and the youngest member of De Stijl. Domela’s early work consists of landscapes and still lifes painted in a Constructivist style, but after moving to Berlin in 1923 and becoming acquainted with the November Group, he created his first non-representational painting: a
composition of vertical and horizontal lines and planes. In 1924, he had his first solo show at the Galeria d’Audretsch, and in 1925 Domela joined De Stijl, working closely with Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg. Unbound by formal training or a specific medium, Domela experimented with threedimensional reliefs, typography, graphic art, and photomontage, which spurred his participation in the Ring Neue Werbegestalter with Kurt Schwitters. In 1931, he organized Germany’s first large-scale photomontage exhibition at Berlin’s Staatliche Kunstbibliothek. With the rise of Nazi power, Domela moved to Paris, and in 1934 established the city’s first silkscreen printing studio. Despite his success in the commercial arts, he returned to painting
and in 1936 was part of the Cubism and Abstract Art exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In Paris, Domela befriended Hans Arp, Sonia and Robert Delaunay, and Anton Pevsner, whose varying influences can be seen in his work; Domela in turn influenced Nicolas de Staël, Jean Deyrolle, and Auguste Herbin with his work at the inaugural Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in 1939. During the 1940s, he participated in several exhibitions and in 1948 had a solo show at the Galerie Apollinaire. Domela’s 1949 Composition is a critical piece
within his oeuvre — both curvilinear and planar, it eschews the depth of field seen in many of his other works, but utilizes the rounded forms common to his sculpture. After Domela died, his vast archive of works was left to the Netherlands Institute for Art History, and in 2009, his two daughters donated nine of his works to the Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, where a room is now dedicated to the artist.
b. 1900, Amsterdam, Netherlands d. 1992, Paris, France
Composition, 1949 Tempera on paper
24.8 x 19.7 in.
Signed and dated Domela 1949 lower right.
PA U L
É L U A R D
AUL ÉLUARD (born Eugène Émile Paul Grindel) was a French poet, a leading
force in the Surrealist movement, and a luminary in the artistic milieu of his time. At sixteen, Éluard was sent to a sanatorium in Davos, Switzerland to recover from a pulmonary condition. It was during his recuperation that Éluard discovered a passion for poetry, reading works by avant-garde poets
such as Guillaume Apollinaire (see page 10), Charles Baudelaire, and Arthur Rimbaud. It was also during this time that he tried his hand at drawing. No more than a dozen works by the artist are known to exist (all created between 1910 and 1918), including the triptych, Le cirque (1913). The delicate, unbroken lines and joyful colors show both a proclivity for the Surrealist style and the light-hearted spirit of a young man not yet exposed to war. However, by his early twenties, Éluard gave up the practice, deciding that his writing skills were superior. His poetry would aim to present a visual and sensory perception of poetic meaning. Éluard published his first collection of poems in 1913, while still bedridden in Switzerland. The following year, after his release from the sanatorium, war was declared and Éluard
signed on as a medic. Towards the end of the war, he published for the first time under the name “Éluard” — the maiden name of his maternal grandmother. He then moved to Paris where he became acquainted with André Breton, Louis Aragon, and Philippe Soupault, with whom Éluard put his name to the original Surrealist manifesto. The poet became close friends with the great artists of the decade, who frequently lent illustrations to his poems — Max Ernst (Les Malheurs des immortels, Paris, 1922), Jean (Hans) Arp (Violette Nozières, 1934), Pablo Picasso (Les Yeux fertiles, Paris, 1936), and Henri Laurens (La Dernière nuit, 1942), among others. Éluard strongly believed that there was complete fluidity between the visual arts and the written word, a concept to which his interdisciplinary career is a testament.
b. 1895, St. Denis, Paris, France d. 1952, Charenton-le-Pont, France
Le cirque (Triptyque), 1913 Oil pastel on mat paper on canvas
29.5 x 13.6 in.
S E R G E
F É R AT
ERGE FÉRAT (né Serguei Zhastrebzov) was a French-Russian artist who grew
up near Moscow, the son of Russian nobility. As a young man he studied at the School of Fine Art in Kiev before traveling around Europe with Yelena Zhadviga Mionteska. In 1901, the two settled in Paris, where Mionteska adopted the pseudonym Helène d’Oettingen. She opened the literary salon
Boulevard Bertier, which soon became a hub for artists and writers. It was there that Férat met Pablo Picasso, who in turn introduced him to Guillaume Apollinaire (see page 10). They became fast friends, and it was in fact Apollinaire who suggested the name “Serge Férat” as an alias. Férat soon found himself surrounded by an entourage of painters and poets who were attracted, in part, to his ostentatious displays of wealth. Férat collected works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau (see page 88), Giorgio de Chirico, and others, and began taking painting classes under the instruction of William-Adolphe Bouguereau at the Académie Julian. He exhibited his works at the Salon des Indépendants in 1905, 1910, 1911, and 1912, and at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1906, where he won a prize. Apollinaire became ill, however, and his close friend’s illness compounded with his financial difficulties following the Russian Revolution, affected both Férat and his painting style: the
unusually somber colors in Nature morte à la cafetière et à la guitare (c. 1918) are perhaps an indication of his internal distress, and while many of his still lifes are imbued with subtle movement, this one is eerily still. The convergence of the Russian Revolution with Apollinaire's death in 1918 left Férat ruined, both emotionally and financially. In the aftermath, many of his purported friends abandoned him. Férat continued to sell his art, but he was alone and destitute by the time of his death in 1958.
b. 1881, Moscow, Russia d. 1958, Paris, France
Nature morte à la cafetière à la guitare, c. 1918 Gouache on paper
12.25 x 8.25 in.
Signed Férat lower right.
A L B E R T
G L E I Z E S
LBERT GLEIZES was a French painter, muralist, theorist, and an early pioneer
of Cubism. The son of a fabric designer, Gleizes began his painting career during his military service in 1901. He showed several paintings at Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1902 and at the Salon d’Automne in 1903 and 1904. Over the next several years, Gleizes founded the utopian
intellectual community Abbaye de Créitel, going on to meet Jean Metzinger, Fernand Léger (see page 68), Henri Le Faucconier, and Robert Delaunay. Together with these artists, he exhibited paintings at the 1911 Salon des Independents, a show widely credited with introducing Cubism to the larger public. The following year, working with Metzinger, Gleizes co-authored the first theoretical treatise on Cubism with the publication of Du Cubisme. The two were co-founders of the Section d’Or. In 1915, Gleizes painted his famed work Le chant de guerre, a portrait of the composer Florent Schmitt, which is preserved in the Centre Pompidou. Portrait de Florent Schmitt (1915) is one of the preparatory drawings. One can see that the composition remained much the same from this drawing to the final painting, and is a fascinating insight into Gleizes’s working process. Throughout the 1920s, Gleizes exhibited at Léonce Rosenberg’s L’Effort Moderne, where he would continue to show his work for many years and write essays for the dealer’s magazine. In 1929, Rosenberg commissioned Gleizes to paint a series of decorative panels in his Paris apartment. A prolific theorist and essayist, Gleizes published dozens of writings, including Le Peinture et ses lois (1924) and Homocentrisme (1937). In the second half of his career, Gleizes turned his attention back to utopia and spiritual reflection, founding the commune Moly-Sabata, near Lyon, and joining the group Abstraction-Création. Working with Léger and Delaunay, Gleizes painted Cubist murals for the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris. His work was the subject of a major retrospective at the Chapelle du Lycée Ampère in 1947, a few years before Gleizes completed his last major fresco, Eucharist, painted for a Jesuit church in Chantilly in 1952.
b. 1881, Paris, France d. 1953, Avignon, France
Portrait de Florent Schmitt, 1915 Ink and gouache on paper Signed lower right.
10.6 x 7.9 in.
J U L I O
G O N Z Á L E Z
SCULPTOR AND PAINTER, JULIO GONZÁLEZ is best known for his small-scale,
abstract iron sculptures. González grew up working in his father’s metalsmith shop, where he learned the techniques of direct metal welding while attending evening art classes at the Escuela de Bellas Artes. His father, Concordio González, was a part-time sculptor, and his mother, Pilar
Pellicer Fenés, came from a family of well-known artists. As a teenager, he joined a group of young artists known as Le Cénacle, which included Joaquín Torres-García. The group aimed to remove the distinctions between applied and fine arts, a venture González continued throughout his life. In the 1890s, González met Pablo Picasso at an exhibition; they would become lifelong friends, and Picasso’s sculptural work would inspire González’s future art making. In 1900, González moved to Paris and began to associate with Pablo Gargallo, Juan Gris (see page 34), Manolo Hugué, Max Jacob, and Jaime Sabartés. During the First World War, González
worked at the Renault factory in Boulogne-Billancourt and learned the techniques of oxyacetylene welding, a skill he later repurposed for his sculpture. Like many artists, González repeatedly returned to the same subjects, particularly “femmes a leur toilette” — women getting ready. González was fascinated with the movements of this process, abstracting these gestures as seen in Femme bizarre (1935). A stunning work in its own right, the work on paper shows the artist’s experimentation within the theme that culminated in the lauded sculpture Femme se coiffant (1936). González went on to exhibit his drawings and paintings with the Société Nationale des BeauxArts, the Salon des Indépendants, and the Salon d’Automne. After creating his first iron sculptures in 1927, González provided metal welding assistance to both Picasso and Constantin Brâncusi during the 1930s. In turn, González was deeply influenced by their work ’ within Cubism and Surrealism, using a variety of geometric techniques to convey metaphorical meaning in his own work.
b. 1876, Barcelona, Spain d. 1942, Arcueil, France
Femme bizarre, 1935 Crayon and pencil on paper
9.25 x 6 in.
J U A N
G R I S
HE CUBIST PAINTER AND SCULPTOR JUAN GRIS (né José Victoriano Carmelo
Carlos González-Pérez) was born in Madrid, the thirteenth of fourteen children. As a young man, he studied illustration at the Escuela de Artes y Manufacturas in Madrid (1902–04) while submitting his drawings to the local newspapers. After graduating, he studied under the guidance of Spanish
artist José Maria Carbonero. In 1906, he moved to Paris, and adopted the pseudonym Juan Gris. He rented a studio in the same building as Pablo Picasso, the Bateau-Lavoir in Montmartre, and Gris soon became friends with Picasso and the Cubists Georges Braque and Fernand Léger (see page 68). Whereas Braque and Picasso's intuition guided the development of their Cubism, Gris worked logically and mathematically. However, Gris gradually ceded his analytic process to that of intuition and developed his own unique Cubism, inspiring Guillaume Apollinaire (see page 10) to write of Gris: “Here is a man who has meditated on everything modern, here is a painter who wants only to conceive new entities.” In 1919, Léonce Rosenberg organized the first major solo show of Juan Gris at his Galerie de l’Effort Moderne in Paris, exhibiting around fifty of his works. However, starting in 1920, Gris began suffering the effects of pleurisy, and his painting suffered. The drawing Bouquet de fleurs, dated from the early 1920s, demonstrates Gris’s blend of mathematical precision and intuitive form. The table is slanted, and the flowers abstracted, yet his depiction calls to attention the subject’s elemental forms. In 1927, Juan Gris passed away at the young age of forty.
b. 1887, Madrid, Spain d. 1927, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
Bouquet de fleurs, Early 1920s Graphite on paper
10.3 x 8.15 in.
Signed Juan Gris lower right.
O T T O
G U T F R E U N D
TTO GUTFREUND is one of the preeminent fathers of Czech Modernism.
Born in Northern Bohemia, as a young man he moved to Bechyně to study pottery before enrolling in the Uměleckoprůmyslová škola v Praze (School of Decorative Arts, Prague) where, from 1906 to 1909, he studied figurative and ornamental modeling. As a student, he met the French
sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, who encouraged him to enroll at the Parisian art school, the
Académie de la Grande Chaumière. Gutfreund studied there for a year while working in Bourdelle's studio. In 1910, Gutfreund returned to Prague and began to make his mark. In 1911, he helped to found the Skupina výtvarných umělců v Praze (Group of Creative Artists
in Prague), a group of artists who both studied Western European avant-garde art and promoted Czech Modern artists abroad. In 1913, Gutfreund and other Skupina artists exhibited in Berlin at the Galerie Der Sturm. At the outbreak of the First World War, Gutfreund enlisted in the French Foreign Legion. For the first two years of the war, he fought in Alsace; however, in 1916 he was demobilized and awaited the Treaty of Versailles in a French prisoner of war camp. In 1919, Gutfreund returned to Prague and took up painting and sculpture once more. He began drawing inspiration from traditional Czech sculpture, and consequently his art became more figurative — his drawing Nature morte (1920–24) is representative of this aesthetic shift. The precision of the sparsely-drawn objects in the still life show Gutfreund’s expertise in modeling. With astonishingly few lines, this work both distills and enlivens a simple figurative scene. In 1926, he became a professor at the Uměleckoprůmyslová škola v Praze, the school at which he had studied as a young man. The same year, his work was shown in the International Exhibition of Modern Art in New York, organized by the Société Anonyme. However, his success was tragically short-lived. In the summer of 1927, while out for a leisurely swim, Gutfreund drowned in the River Vltava.
b. 1889, Dvůr Králové nad Labem, Bohemia (Czech Republic) d. 1927, Prague, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic)
Nature morte, 1920â&#x20AC;&#x201C;24 Graphite on paper
7.7 x 10 in.
H E N R I
H AY D E N
ENRI HAYDEN was a Polish painter known for his early Cubist works and
later for his colorful landscapes. He was born into a family of wine distributors, and as a young man he simultaneously pursued studies at the Polytechnic School and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. After demonstrating prodigious artistic talent, he abandoned his engineering
studies and moved to Paris. In 1908, he began taking classes at the avant-garde Académie de la Palette. His early works were similar to Paul Cézanne’s in style: landscapes and figures modulated with flattened, faceted brushstrokes and scrapes of a palette knife. However, after befriending the Montparnasse Cubists — Juan Gris (see page 34), Pablo Picasso, Jacques Lipchitz, and Jean Metzinger — his works gravitated increasingly towards Cubism. Juan Gris
introduced Hayden to the gallerist Léonce Rosenberg who, starting in 1915, officially represented him. Lejo (c. 1916), Nature morte (1918) and Nature morte au compotier (1920) span Hayden’s foray into Cubism and demonstrate his preference for bright, rich colors and his proficiency in the style du jour. These three works show not only Hayden’s adept dissection of the visual panes, but also the elegant dissection of color and texture. By the mid-1920s, however, Hayden had abandoned Cubism in favor of a more naturalistic painting style. With the start of the Second World War, Hayden was forced into hiding. When he returned to Paris at the end of the war, he was devastated to find that the Germans had ransacked his entire studio and stolen all of his artworks. With his entire oeuvre lost, Hayden’s recognition in the art world was severely damaged, and it was only later in his life that his work began to gain attention once more.
b. 1883, Warsaw, Poland d. 1970, Paris, France
Lejo, c. 1916 Gouache on paper
15.2 x 11 in.
Signed Hayden lower right.
Nature morte, 1918 Gouache on board
13 x 16 in.
Signed Hayden lower right.
Nature morte au compotier, 1920 Oil and gouache on paper
10.25 x 11.6 in.
Signed Hayden lower left.
B A R B A R A
H E P W O R T H
ARBARA HEPWORTH was considered the greatest female sculptor during her
lifetime. Hepworth decided to pursue sculpture at the age of eighteen, and in 1920 she won a scholarship to study at the Leeds School of Art. It was there that she met the sculptor Henry Moore (see page 82); their friendship and rivalry would mutually inform each other’s practice for the rest of their
careers. Hepworth went on to study sculpture at the Royal College of Art in London, and
eventually traveled to Italy where she learned to carve marble — the primary medium in the early phase of Hepworth’s career. In 1931, Hepworth began a relationship with Ben Nicholson, who introduced her to non-figurative abstraction. Hepworth and Nicholson exhibited extensively with various abstractionist groups and contributed to anti-fascist exhibitions and catalogs. At the start of the Second World War, Hepworth and Nicholson escaped to St. Ives, where they sought refuge living with art critic Adrian Stokes and artist Margaret Mellis. Throughout the war, many other British modernists traveled to the St. Ives coast, fostering an artistic community that was influenced by the Cornish landscape and experimented with abstraction. The cramped living conditions in St. Ives, however, forced Hepworth to abandon sculpture until the 1950s. Instead, Hepworth focused on drawings and studies, and it was during this period that she produced Crouching Figure (1948). With a few brisk but steady lines, Hepworth renders the figure, providing just enough anatomy to make evident the physicality of her form. The delicacy of the figure’s features — her profile, her fingernail — contrast strikingly with the artist’s seemingly hurried shading. When Hepworth returned to sculpture, her work began to include natural shapes and landscapes inspired by the local coastline. She incorporated the purism of the 1930s with symbolic reference to her new environment. Hepworth’s practice was unique in that she relied on the properties of a medium to dictate her sculptural form, a quality that is evident in both her drawings and sculpture.
b. 1903, Wakefield, England d. 1975, St. Ives, England
Crouching Figure, 1948 India ink and chalk on paper
9.25 x 13.25 in.
Signed and dated Barbara Hepworth 1948 upper right.
J E A N
H É L I O N
EAN HÉLION played a key role in bringing European abstraction to American
shores. Born in 1904, Hélion abandoned his chemistry studies at university to become an apprentice to an architect in Paris. It was while he was apprenticing that Hélion first began to paint. In 1926, when Hélion was twenty-two years old, he first met the Uruguayan artist Joaquín Torres-
García. Torres-García, who was living in Paris at the time, introduced the young Hélion to Cubism, and also collaborated with him on the avant-garde magazine L’Acte. Jean Hélion soon became a prominent member of the Parisian art circles, exhibiting in the 1927 Salon
des Indépendants. In the 1930s, Hélion moved to the United States and married an American woman who, in an odd twist of fate, shared his first name: Jean Blair. Composition abstraite (1936) was made during his first years in the US. The background wash provides a subtle atmospheric perspective, and the abstract forms in the center play with both negative and positive space — the understated cross-hatching of one lone shape feels like a quiet wink at the viewer. The work is a playful example of interwar abstraction. In 1940, compelled by Europe’s suffering, Hélion returned to France to fight in the Second World War. He was captured by the Nazis and interred in a prisoner of war camp near Poland. He miraculously escaped and returned to the United States. Like many artists who experienced the war first-hand, both Hélion and his art were profoundly changed by what he had experienced. His works became more figurative as he attempted to grapple with bleak reality. As he said during an interview with Time magazine, “A man who has been locked up for a few years knows the value of reality. What can you communicate but the problematic meaning of the world?”
b. 1904, Couterne, France d. 1987, Paris, France
Composition abstraite, 1936 Watercolor on India ink on paper
9.9 x 9.25 in.
Signed and dated HĂŠlion Va. 36 lower left.
B É L A
K Á D Á R
ÉLA KÁDÁR was a painter and one of the most famous members of the early
twentieth-century Hungarian avant-garde. Born in Budapest to a workingclass Jewish family, Kádár was forced to work as an iron-turner from a young age; however, he was introduced to painting while working at a mural painting company in Budapest. He visited Paris and Berlin in 1910, and by
1918 Kádár had moved to Western Europe. For a time, he settled in Berlin, where he
befriended fellow Hungarian painter Hugo Schreiber and began to exhibit his work to a larger, Western audience. The artist had his first important exhibition in October 1923 at Herwarth Walden’s Galerie Der Sturm in Berlin, showing work in an Expressionist style. During the exhibition he met Katherine Dreier, who put on two exhibitions of his work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York City. Kádár notably employed styles from a range of movements, including Constructivism, Cubism, and German Expressionism, and focused on traditional Hungarian folklore to inspire his imagery. His scenes of abstracted figures, objects, landscapes, and interiors feature bright, jewel-toned palettes and a fractured approach to rendering space, which can be seen in his rounded, sumptuous work on paper from the 1930s, Two Figures. The many decorative patterns in this piece are delicately balanced among the figures, and are even echoed in the depiction of the flowers. Kádár’s range of style is evident here, as is his mastery of color and complex compression of space.
b. 1877, Budapest, Hungary d. 1956, Budapest, Hungary
Two figures, 1930s Gouache on paper
9.1 x 11.8 in.
Signed KÁDÁR BÉLA lower right.
H E N R I
L A U R E N S
ENRI LAURENS was a French sculptor and illustrator, and is considered a
pioneer of Cubist sculpture. Laurens apprenticed with an ornamental sculptor, where he learned direct stone carving. While an apprentice, he also took evening drawing classes from the popular Parisian instructor “Père Perrin.” In 1911, he first met Georges Braque who, along with
introducing Laurens to Cubism, also became a life-long friend. Laurens began his career creating wood and polychrome plaster sculptures, drawing on the tenets of Cubism and adopting Cubist subjects such as deconstructed human figures, guitars, and still lifes. In 1913, Laurens exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants and, two years later, met Juan Gris (see page 34), Amedeo Modigliani, and Pablo Picasso. Picasso later introduced him to Léonce
Rosenberg, who gave him a solo show at his Galerie de l’Effort Moderne in 1917. As his career progressed, Laurens shifted toward subtle low-relief terracottas, eventually forsaking his fragmented geometric style in favor of a more natural, curvilinear one. Laurens began to work more figuratively, and became known for his highly rhythmic female nudes, who are often reclining or bathing. Known for his works in stone and bronze, Laurens was also prolific in collage, printmaking, and illustration. He often used the female nude motif, as seen in Femme à la draperie (1932) and Femme nue allongée (1937), to work between these media. In Femme nue allongée, Laurens pays little attention to anatomical detail or realistic coloring, instead using contrasting blocks of gouache to model the figure. The result is captivating. Many works of his later period were re-interpretations of Greco-Roman mythology (see Zeus et Hermès and Aphrodite et Séléné, c. 1950). Again Laurens uses blocks of color, this time black and terracotta red, to highlight the visual planes and to underscore the thematic association with Greco-Roman pottery. By the end of his career, Laurens’s oeuvre had reached international acclaim. He exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1948 and 1950, and received the Prize of the IV Centenary at the Bienal de São Paulo in 1953.
b. 1885, Paris, France d. 1954, Paris, France
Femme Ă la draperie, 1932 Bronze with brown patina, Edition 5/6
17 x 17.7 in.
Incised with artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s monogram and numbered 5/6.
Femme nue allongĂŠe, 1937 Gouache and graphite on cardboard
4.5 x 12 in.
Signed with artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s monogram lower left.
Zeus et HermĂ¨s, c. 1950 Collage and gouache with highlights of pencil and chalk on paper Signed with artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s monogram and titled lower right.
13.7 x 10.4 in.
Aphrodite et Séléné, c. 1950 Collage and gouache with highlights of pencil and chalk on paper Signed with artist’s monogram and titled lower right.
13.8 x 10.4 in.
B L A N C H E
L A Z Z E L L
LANCHE LAZZELL was a painter, printmaker, and one of the few female
pioneers of Modernist American art. In 1908, she enrolled in classes at the Art Students League of New York, and three years later traveled to Europe, visiting England, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Italy. She finally settled in Paris, where she attended classes at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière,
the Académie Julian, the Académie Delécluse, and the Académie Moderne.
After two years in Europe, Lazzell returned to the United States, and in 1915 she moved to the growing artists’ colony of Provincetown, Massachusetts. She was a founding member of the Provincetown Printers, who utilized Japanese woodblock techniques to create avant-garde works. Lazzell developed her own unique hybrid of Cubism and Abstract Expressionism with her white-line woodblock prints. In 1923, Lazzell returned to Paris, where she furthered her studies of Cubism with Albert Gleizes (see page 30), Fernand Léger (see page 68), and André Lhote, and exhibited in the Salon d'Automne. In June of the following year, still living in Paris, she began making preparatory drawings for her thoroughly Cubist piece Abstract Composition. These preparatory drawings have fortuitously been preserved, giving a unique insight into how the artist planned her work. Although American, Lazzell’s most influential years were spent in Europe. Once overshadowed by her male peers, she is now recognized as playing a key role in introducing American artists to European Modernism.
b. 1878, Monongalia County, West Virginia d.1956, Bourne, Massachusetts
Abstract Composition, 1924 Mixed media on paper
9 x 8 in.
Signed and dated Blanche Lazzell, 1924 lower right.
Preparatory drawing Graphite on paper
10 x 7.25 in.
Preparatory drawing Graphite on paper
9.5 x 8 in.
Signed and dated June 30 B. Lazzell lower margin.
Preparatory drawing Graphite on paper
9.5 x 8 in.
Signed and dated June 30 1924 B. Lazzell lower margin.
Preparatory drawing Graphite on paper
9 x 8 in.
F E R N A N D
L É G E R
OSEPH FERNAND HENRI LÉGER was born in Argentan, France. After apprenticing
with an architect in Caen from 1897 to 1899, Léger settled in Paris in 1900 and attended classes at the École des Beaux-Arts and Académie Julian beginning in 1903. Léger’s earliest-known works were primarily influenced by Impressionism;
the experience of seeing the Paul Cézanne retrospective at the Salon d’Automne
in 1907 and his contact with the early Cubism of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque had a
significant impact on the development of Léger’s personal style. From 1911 to 1914 Léger’s work became increasingly abstract, and he started to limit his color to the primaries and black and white. In 1912, he was given his first solo show at Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris. Léger served in the military from 1914 to 1917, which marked the beginning of his “mechanical” period. In 1924, he opened an atelier with Amédée Ozenfant, and in 1925 presented his first murals at Le Corbusier’s Pavillon de l’Esprit Nouveau at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. Composition d’éléments mécaniques (c. 1930) showcases the tubular, machine-like forms that characterized Léger’s figures during this mature apex of his mechanical period. Unlike his smooth-surfaced paintings, this featured work on paper treats the depicted mechanical objects with rough cross-hatching, and is an exciting insight into Léger’s treatment of depth and dimensionality. In 1935, shortly after Composition d’éléments mécaniques was produced, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago presented an exhibition of his work. Léger lived in the United States from 1940 to 1945, but returned to France after the Second World War. In the decade before his death, Léger’s wide-ranging projects included book illustrations, monumental figure paintings and murals, stained-glass windows, mosaics, polychrome ceramic sculptures, and set and costume designs. The Musée Fernand Léger was inaugurated in 1960 in Biot, France.
b. 1881, Argentan, France d. 1955, Gif-Sur-Yvette, France
Composition d’éléments mécaniques, c. 1930 Mixed media and ink on paper
10.4 x 9.1 in.
Signed and inscribed authentique F. Léger, N. Léger on verso.
M A X I M I L I E N
L U C E
AXIMILIEN LUCE was a Neo-Impressionist painter born into a Parisian
family of artisans. When he was fourteen years old, Luce began apprenticing with a wood engraver, and in 1876 he began working in the studio of printmaker Eugène Froment. However, Luce also began to take drawing and painting classes at night, and by 1880 he had
dedicated himself to painting. Luce befriended Camille Pissarro, who introduced him to the other Parisian NeoImpressionists, including Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. Luce adopted their Divisionist technique of painting, applying color through separated, short brushstrokes, and began exhibiting his works at the Salons des Artistes Indépendants. He was even inducted into the Société des Artistes Indépendants, and given an official position on the board. However, he soon resigned from the society due to his political activism — he protested the society's refusal
to allow Jewish artists to exhibit at the Salons. In the early twentieth century, Luce decided to abandon the Neo-Impressionist technique of careful separation of colors, and his painting style accordingly veered towards Impressionism. The result of this artistic shift is elegantly epitomized in Vase de fleurs (1915–25), a loose and painterly work, liberated from Divisionist constraints.
b. 1858, Paris, France d. 1941, Paris, France
Vase de fleurs, 1915â&#x20AC;&#x201C;25 Oil on paper laid on canvas
18.25 x 21.75 in.
Signed Luce lower left.
J E A N
L U R Ç AT
EAN LURÇAT was a French artist and weaver credited with reviving
contemporary tapestry. When Lurçat arrived in Paris in 1912, he entered a hotbed of creative activity and became acquainted with the city’s masters of Modern art: Braque, Matisse, and Picasso, in particular. The Fauvists inspired his development as a colorist; an affinity for the decorative particularly drew
him to the work of Matisse. In 1913, Lurçat traveled to Munich where he saw an exhibition of work by the Blaue Reiter group, founded by Kandinsky, and the melancholy imbued in the
bare landscapes and haunting figures resonated with the young artist. After the First World War, Lurçat’s style began to mature, and he embarked on a period of great productivity (completing over 120 works between 1920 and 1923). By 1921, Lurçat had settled into his predominant use of oils and a penchant for depicting still life. Early works such as Nature morte au coquillage (1923) show the use of layered materials that convey the artist’s interest in texture and tactility beyond traditional oil painting. Lurçat’s work tends to evoke a universe built, then abandoned, by man. Very few series focus on the individual figure, but one such series included Femme (1927), and another concentrated on groups of bathers: Les baigneuses (1933) demonstrates Lurçat’s great aptitude as a draftsman, and offers a whimsical contrast to the harsh lines and garish colors of his other series. Throughout his career, Lurçat was adamant about not associating with any particular school. He used a mixture of turbulent colors and a proclivity for the decorative to divorce his style from the grip of any Cubist classification. He neither embraced complete abstraction nor associated with the Surrealists, despite certain aesthetic similarities. Lurçat’s success as a tapestry designer, however, may have come to overshadow the painted works of his earlier career, despite the irrefutable originality of their style.
b. 1892, Bruyères, France d. 1966, Saint-Paul de Vence, France
Nature morte au coquillage, 1923 Gouache on paper
18.3 x 12.6 in.
Signed and dated JLurรงat 1923 upper left.
Pierrot, 1924 Watercolor over graphite on paper
13.5 x 9.5 in.
Nature morte, 1927 Oil on panel
14.7 x 25.5 in.
Signed and dated JLurรงat 27 center right.
Femme, 1927 Oil on panel
11.5 x 8.5 in.
Signed Lurรงat lower left.
Les baigneuses, 1933 Gouache on paper
18.1 x 14.2 in.
Signed and dedicated Pour Leslie Goldberg trĂŠs amicalement J. LurĂ§at lower right.
H E N R Y
M O O R E
RITISH ARTIST HENRY MOORE is arguably one of the most influential artists
of the twentieth century. Celebrated as a sculptor, Moore was strongly influenced in his formative years by painters such as Giotto, Masaccio, William Blake, J. M. W. Turner, and Pablo Picasso, as well as the painter and sculptor Michelangelo. He himself was a skilled draftsman. He adopted
aesthetic innovations from both Constructivism and Surrealism, synthesizing the two into his
own unique form of figurative abstraction — which can already been seen early in his career as demonstrated in Seated Nude (1929). Organic shapes, not only of the human body, but also of shells, bones, and rocks, inspired Moore’s work. Moore showed an early artistic inclination. He began working with clay while still a schoolboy. After serving in the Civil Service Rifles regiment during the First World War, Moore was accepted into the Leeds School of Art and subsequently into the Royal College of Art in London. In 1928, he gained his first public commission — to carve a relief in stone for a façade of the new London Underground building at St. James’s Park. During this time, Moore was a member of Unit One — a group whose members included Edward Burra, Barbara Hepworth (see page 44), Ben Nicholson, and Edward Wadsworth. Many of these artists, including Moore and Hepworth, would become associated with the artists’ collective in St. Ives, Cornwall. Unusual for a sculptor, Moore often used color in his drawings (as seen in Drawing for Metal Sculpture, 1935) and established a complete pictorial setting for figures or for imaginary sculptural objects, in a manner recalling the work of Giorgio de Chirico or Max Ernst. During the Second World War, as an Official War Artist, Moore made a series of drawings of people sheltering in the London Underground, frequently using watercolor over wax crayon. These hauntingly beautiful images captured the psychological trauma of the London Blitz and inspired his monumental sculptures in reclining postures.
b. 1898, Castleford, England d. 1986, Much Hadham, England
Seated Nude, 1929 Pen, ink, charcoal, chalk, and wash on paper Signed Moore lower left.
16.9 x 13.3 in.
Drawing for Metal Sculpture, 1935 Colored crayon and pastel on paper
14.75 x 21.9 in.
Signed and dated Moore 35 lower center-left.
R E N AT O
( R E N É )
PA R E S C E
LTHOUGH RENATO PARESCE was born in Switzerland, he spent most of his
boyhood in Florence, where he taught himself to paint. He studied physics at the University of Palermo and, after completing his studies, moved to Paris. He began frequenting the artistic and cultural hubs, where he befriended Amedeo Modigliani and Pablo Picasso. At the start of the First
World War, Paresce and his wife, Ella Klatschko Vera — the daughter of a Russian revolutionary — moved to London. From there, Paresce continued to paint, in addition to serving as a journalist for the Italian newspaper La Stampa. In 1926, Paresce participated in the first Novecento Italiano group exhibition in Milan. The Novecento Italiano artists were concerned with Italian nationalism, and rejected the northern European avant-garde in favor of their nation's strong artistic tradition. This concern can be seen in Natura morta, created during the same year as the group exhibition. In this still life, the grapes, languidly spilling over the sherbet dish, and the scattered plump peaches hark back to an Italian Baroque still life by Caravaggio. However, the broken horizon line — a Cubist tendency — reveals the influence of Paresce's time in Paris. A couple of years later, Paresce became part of a group of Italian artists brought together by an exhibition at the Salon de l’Escalier: Massimo Campigli, Giorgio de Chirico, Filippo de Pisis, Alberto Savinio, Gino Severini (see page 90), and Mario Tozzi. In 1933, he had his first solo show at the Galleria del Milione, and the year after, on a trip to the Fiji Islands and the Americas, he wrote the book L'altra America, which was published in 1935. He died two years later in Paris.
b. 1886, Carouge, Switzerland d. 1983, Paris, France
Natura morta, 1926 Graphite on paper
14.8 x 16.9 in.
Signed and dated RenĂŠ Paresce 26 lower right.
H E N R I
R O U S S E A U
ENRI ROUSSEAU did not begin his art career until later in life. He had served
in the military and was working at a tollhouse on the outskirts of Paris when he decided to retire and devote himself to becoming a professional artist. Since he was too poor to enroll in art school, Rousseau was entirely self-taught. As he himself expressed it, he “worked alone without any
master but nature and some advice from Jean-Léon Gérôme and Jean-Pierre Clement.”
Rousseau was fond of the tollhouses on the Seine River, since he had worked as a clerk in one for many years. This explains his commonly used epithet, Le Douanier, which translates to “customs officer.” Rousseau’s earliest works are characterized by a keen attention to detail and commitment to realism. Quai d’Auteuil is a study of the bank of the Seine River. The work demonstrates Rousseau’s clear mastery of minute distinctions in nature, and juxtaposes perfectly with his future abstracted tropical landscapes to reveal how his style evolved. As Rousseau’s career progressed, he retained an interest in landscape and more specifically, La Belle Nature, but approached certain elements of his work with a freer, more individual means of expression. For Naïf artists, nature took on quasi-mystical characteristics and thus Rousseau always studied nature in hopes of achieving a perfected version of it. The next generation of artists, including Max Weber (see page 112) took an interest in Rousseau’s primitive style and praised him as “the most original and singular painter of France of that period.”
b. 1844, Laval, France d. 1910, Paris, France
Quai d’Auteuil, 1885 Pen and brown ink on paper, laid down
6.1 x 4.5 in.
Signed, titled, and dated Henri Rousseau Quai d’Auteuil 1885 lower center.
G I N O
S E V E R I N I
FTER STUDYING AT THE SCUOLA TECNICA in Cortona and living for five years
in Rome, Gino Severini moved to Paris in 1906 where he studied Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painting. He is best known for using color to accentuate contrasts and emphasize his compositions’ musicality, which owes to his study of complementary colors and early adoption of
Divisionism. Upon moving to Paris, Severini met many avant-garde artists and writers, including Guillaume Apollinaire (see page 10), Georges Braque, Juan Gris (see page 34), Amedeo Modigliani, and Pablo Picasso, and learned from them the tenets of Cubism. Severini absorbed these lessons and applied them to Italian Futurism, a movement that celebrated the mechanical above all else. In 1912 Severini organized the first Futurist exhibition at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris, and in 1913 he was given solo shows at the Marlborough Gallery, London and Der Sturm, Berlin. Around 1916 his emphasis shifted from deconstructing forms to imposing geometric order on his compositions, and he would later experiment with a Neoclassical figurative style, producing mosaics, murals, and frescos, as well as designing sets and writing. A frequent theatergoer, Severini often painted still lifes with musical instruments, such as Studio per natura morta con violino (1946). Thoughtful use of color and unworked surface ground the work’s subject matter; the bottles, pitchers and bowls appear attached only by lyrical lines to the table’s surface, which tilts away from classic perspective towards the Cubist vein. Eventually, after serving as an essential link between Parisian Cubists and Italian Futurists, Severini chose to return to making solely Cubist works.
b. 1883, Cortona, Italy d. 1966, Paris, France
Studio per natura morta con violin, 1946 Watercolor on paper
10.6 x 14.5 in.
Signed G. Severini lower right.
L É O P O L D
S U R VA G E
ÉOPOLD SURVAGE grew up in Finland, where his father ran a piano factory and
instilled in his son a love of music. As a youth, it was Survage’s goal to become a professional pianist, but after being struck with a debilitating illness in his twenties, he changed course and enrolled in the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture.
Survage soon became enamored with the Russian avant-garde, exhibiting alongside Alexander
Archipenko. In 1908, he moved to Paris, where he studied under Henri Matisse and subsidized his artistic pursuits by working as a piano tuner. In 1911, at the urging of Archipenko, he exhibited at the Salon d'Automne alongside many of the other early Cubists. In 1913, Survage began to experiment in what Henry Valensi would term Musicalism (see page 100), producing abstract works that used color and movement to evoke musical sensations.
When Survage exhibited these pieces at the Salon des Indépendants in 1914, Guillaume Apollinaire (see page 10) published articles on both Survage and his Musicalist compositions. Beginning in 1917, Survage shared a studio with Amedeo Modigliani, and it was in this time period of expanding his Cubist practices that Survage produced the drawing Nature morte au compotier (c. 1919). This work on paper interestingly does not privilege the subject of the compotier over the formal space in which the subject resides: the composition gives equal balance to each element. Survage eventually moved from Paris to Nice, and his works became increasingly less Cubist while working on the coast. By the late 1930s, Survage embraced a level of symbolism and mysticism, which, combined with his tightly-controlled geometric style, helps the viewer to interpret his 1940 painting Composition surréaliste. The gestural dimensionality of the leaf is echoed in the three depicted curtains. The doorways, rife with symbolism, balance the frame while eschewing traditional perspective. The clown-like figure in the (contestable) foreground, wide-eyed and in motion, provides a clear subject to anchor the surrealism. In 1960, Survage received the Prix National Français de la Solomon Guggenheim Foundation, and in 1963 he received the Légion d’Honneur.
b. 1879, Lappeenranta, Finland d. 1968, Paris, France
Nature morte au compotier, c. 1919 Graphite on paper
8.25 x 8.25 in.
Signed S with Atelier Survage stamp lower right.
Composition surrĂŠaliste, 1940 Oil on canvas
7.5 x 9.45 in.
Signed and dated Survage, 18.9.40 lower left.
G R A H A M
S U T H E R L A N D
RAHAM SUTHERLAND was an English artist known for his work in prints,
glass, fabrics, and portraits. After training as an engineer, Sutherland studied engraving at Goldsmiths School of Art from 1921–26. His first solo exhibition was at the Twenty One Gallery in London in 1925, and he was elected to the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers in the same
year. He was teaching at Chelsea School of Art during the 1930s, when his medium turned to
oil and watercolor — though all his works retain an etcher’s eye for linearity. In 1934, he and his wife Kathleen first visited Pembrokeshire, where they returned annually for many years. There, Sutherland found in the landscape a primitive drama and a source of inspiration for anthropomorphic natural forms, and his oil paintings of these scenes secured his reputation as a leading British modern artist. He exhibited in the International Surrealist Exhibition in 1936. As an Official War Artist from 1940 to 1945, his haunting use of color enlivened depictions of the catastrophic damage caused by the bombings. In contrast to his work from his time as a War Artist, Project for Coventry (1950) employs brightly saturated blues, greens, and peach tones to create a scene full of life. The verdant greens and nude figures show the triumph of the living, though the picture is complicated by the fact that each face is turned away from the viewer. Shortly after producing Project for Coventry, Sutherland received a retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London in 1951, and was included in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1952. Sutherland’s major portrait commission of Sir Winston Churchill in 1954 was destroyed due to the sitter’s strong distaste for his depiction. Paul Rosenberg represented Sutherland at his eponymous gallery in New York, and gave the artist a solo exhibition in 1959. In 1960, he was awarded the Order of Merit. Shortly after his death in 1980, the Tate presented a major survey exhibition spanning his career.
b. 1903, London, England d. 1980, Kent, England
Project for Coventry, 1950 Mixed media on paper
6.5 x 9.5 in.
Signed Sutherland lower right.
J U L I A N
T R E V E LYA N
ULIAN TREVELYAN, the nephew of historian G. M. Trevelyan, studied English at
Cambridge University. Through his friendship with Humphrey Jennings, he began to study French painting, particularly the work of André Masson. While highly educated, Trevelyan never went to art school, and his true visual education came from watching first-hand the great contemporary masters in
Paris. These included Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Alexander Calder, as well as a clutch of minor names encountered at S.W. Hayter’s renowned Atelier 17, the etching studio where Trevelyan studied in 1931.
In 1932, Trevelyan exhibited at the Bloomsbury Gallery and later at London galleries including the Lefevre, Zwemmer and, notably, the Tate. In 1936, his work was included in the London International Surrealist Exhibition and subsequently in many group shows in Britain and abroad. The untitled painting presented in this catalogue is sparsely composed, yet the rich application of paint with the varied shapes vitalizes the negative space. Trevelyan’s carefully rendered initials “J” and “T” become active characters within the painting. Trevelyan was a member of the English Surrealist Group from 1937–38 — the period from which this featured painting dates — and of the London Group from 1948–63. He taught at Chelsea School of Art for a decade, and was a Tutor in Etching at the Royal College of Art. Over his lifetime, Trevelyan’s work displayed a wide range of styles, from Figurative Realism to Surrealist themes. One biographer compared Trevelyan’s dichotomous style to Jekyll and Hyde; the artist’s accessible Neo-Romantic imagery contrasted with disquieting surreal content.
b. 1910, Dorking, Surrey, England d. 1988, London, England
Untitled, 1937 Oil on board
7.5 x 15 in.
Signed with artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s initials left half.
H E N R Y
VA L E N S I
ENRY VALENSI was an artist and theorist of the Cubist movement, and is
known as the founder of Musicalism. Born in Algiers, Valensi grew up in Paris, studying painting at the Académie Julian with Jules Lefebvre and Tony Robert-Fleury, and in 1905 he had his first exhibition at the Salon des Orientalistes. After traveling widely in North Africa, Turkey, and Russia,
Valensi returned to Paris and became a member of the Puteaux Group, which appealed to his fascination with the mathematical and scientific foundations of Cubism. In 1912, along with Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes (see page 30), Juan Gris (see page 34), Fernand Léger (see page 68), Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, and others, Valensi organized
the Salon de la Section d’Or — named for the mathematical principle of the golden ratio — and the exhibition saw great success. Following the war, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti organized a retrospective of Valensi’s work in Rome, and in 1925 Valensi exhibited in the final edition of the Section d’Or, which also featured work by Pablo Picasso and Robert and Sonia Delaunay. Valensi remained dedicated to the interdisciplinary innovation of abstraction, and in 1932 he founded the Association des Artistes Musicalistes. Called both “effusionist” and “musicalist,” the style of movement is typified by rhythmic divisions, symphonic compositions, and the conception of color as a vibrational material — all of which are evident in his painting of this period, La Casbah d’Alger. The oil paint is applied thickly but precisely onto the canvas, adding vibrant movement even within each divided block of color. On what appears to be a staircase winding its way through the center of the frame, a fractured figure attempts to climb, action and tempo indicated with repeated limbs. Named by Guillaume Apollinaire (see page 10) as Orphism, and enlivening the space between Cubism and Futurism, Musicalism defined itself as visual art to listen to. Along with Léopold Survage (see page 92), Ernst Klausz, and František Kupka, Valensi pushed Musicalism to define a new interdisciplinary conception of painting, sensation, and space.
b. 1883, Algiers, Algeria d. 1960, Bailly, Oise, France
La Casbah dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Alger, 1930s Oil on canvas
21.7 x 25.6 in.
Signed Henry Valensi lower right.
G E O R G E S
VA L M I E R
EORGES VALMIER was a French painter who, in 1909, began experiment-
ing with Cubism independently from both the Montmartre and Salon Cubists. In 1906, Valmier had enrolled at the Académie Hubert and by 1907 he had been accepted into the studio of Luc-Olivier Merson at the
École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. However, he found the education there
too conservative, and soon became enamored instead with the oeuvre of Cézanne. Valmier
had his public debut at the 1913 Salon des Indépendants. In 1914, he was drafted into the military and assigned service in Toul, where he met Albert Gleizes (see page 30) and Florent Schmitt. When Valmier returned to Montmartre, he was introduced to Léonce Rosenberg, who represented Valmier from 1918 until his death. His paintings do not exceed 300 in number, and were often the culmination of many preparatory works on paper. Personnage debout (1920), of gouache and collage, is exemplary of this process. This work is entirely planar, and his light, warm colors indicate the palette he would employ for much of the 1920s. The surface of each insistently two-dimensional shape is differently treated, adding depth to the joyful colors. In 1921, Rosenberg gave Valmier his first solo show at his Galerie de l’Effort Moderne, and from 1923 to 1927, Valmier regularly published works in Rosenberg’s Bulletin de L’Effort Moderne. In 1928, Rosenberg commissioned him to create work for his apartment at rue de Longchamp. A decade later, Georges Valmier became a founding member of the Abstraction-Création Movement, along with Jean Arp, Auguste Herbin, Jean Hélion (see page 46), and František Kupka. An evolution of Cubism, the group championed the use of geometric abstraction to achieve purity in their art.
b. 1885, Angoulême, France d. 1937, Paris, France
Personnage debout, 1920 Gouache and collage on paper
10.6 x 8.25 in.
F R A N Ç O I S -V I C T O R
RANÇOIS-VICTOR VALTAT was a prosperous ship-owner who followed his creative
passion and seriously pursued fine art painting. He was also the father of the esteemed painter Louis Valtat (see page 110). When Louis was born in 1869, the Valtat family was still living in François-Victor’s hometown Dieppe where François-Victor’s business thrived. In 1874, the family moved to Bernay, the
hometown of François-Victor’s wife, Marguerite Berluet. In 1880, the Valtat family settled in Versailles (Yvelines, France) in order to allow Louis to study at Lycée Hoche, a renowned French high school. In Versailles, François-Victor Valtat was firmly established in his shipoutfitting business and able to devote himself to painting. In 1884, Valtat exhibited a landscape painting at the first Salon des Indépendants, organized by the newly-formed Société des Artistes Indépendants (which, over the years, would count Vassily Kandinsky, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Georges Braque among its members). Along with being a talented artist in his own right, François-Victor Valtat was an inspirational figure in the life of his son, Louis. Louis Valtat's later work Les Roches Rouges à Agay (Foundation Regards de Provence), which he exhibited at the 1903 Salon des Indépendants, is seemingly influenced by his father’s earlier Paysage de bord de mer aux rochers bleus. Like his father, he chose to represent a rocky beach shore through short and choppy brushstrokes of unadulterated pink and blue.
b. 1840, Dieppe, France d. 1920, Paris, France
Paysage au coucher de soleil, late 19th century Oil on canvas
34.25 x 80.7 in.
Signed with initials FV lower left.
Paysage de bord de mer aux rochers bleus, late 19th century Oil on canvas
34.25 x 80.7 in.
Signed with initials FV lower left.
L O U I S
OUIS VALTAT was one of the preeminent painters of the nineteenth and
twentieth centuries. Growing up in Versailles, Louis Valtat's father, the painter François-Victor Valtat (see page 104), inspired in Louis his love of art. When he was seventeen, the young Valtat moved to Paris, first studying at the traditional École des Beaux-Arts, and later at the avant-garde Académie
Julian. It was at the Académie Julian that he befriended fellow students Albert André, Pierre
Bonnard, Maurice Denis, and Edouard Vuillard, who considered themselves part of a brotherhood called the “Nabis.” Valtat, on the other hand, was much too independent to associate himself with a singular art movement. Although Valtat was born the same year as Matisse and is often considered a Fauvist painter, he remained on the fringes of Fauvism, never fully embracing its ferocity of color. His paintings, although emblematic of the time, reveal his unique aesthetic vision. In 1900, Valtat traveled to the south of France after being diagnosed with tuberculosis. The maritime scenery had a great impact on his works; even his still lifes seemed to absorb the bright colors of the Mediterranean. In Coupe verte, oranges et citrons (1909), Valtat paints the quintessential Mediterranean fruits in a brilliant sea-foam green bowl. Whereas his early works used mostly the spontaneous light touches of Impressionism and the colorful dots found in Pointillism, Coupe verte demonstrates the more deliberately structured style Valat adopted.
b. 1869, Dieppe, France d. 1952, Paris, France
Coupe verte, oranges et citrons, 1909 Oil on canvas
6 x 10 in.
Signed with initials L.V lower right.
M A X
W E B E R
AX WEBER was a Russian-born American Cubist painter, and was one
of the early American Modernists. In 1891, when he was ten years old, Weber immigrated to New York with his parents. As a young man, he studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, before moving to Paris to study at the Académie Julian and under the tutelage of Henri Matisse.
While in Paris, Weber attended the salons of Leo and Gertrude Stein, where he befriended Henri Rousseau (see page 88) and Pablo Picasso.
With his return to New York in 1909, Weber was quickly incorporated into the Stieglitz Circle, a group of artists (including Marsden Hartley, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Paul Strand) that exhibited at Alfred Stieglitz’s Gallery 291 in New York. During this time, he introduced the New York art world to the Fauvist and Cubist styles popular back in Europe. Weber’s style walked the line between figurative and abstract. He used heavy strokes and broken lines, as seen in Woman with a Purple Scarf (1921). The purple head scarf seems to be of greater importance in the composition, as it is emphasized by the title of the artwork. Weber, who increasingly incorporated Jewish imagery in his work, could have been referring to a Tyrian purple — a specific dye that held royal and divine connotations within the faith, and was often used in prayer shawls. Weber became involved in activist movements of the time, and in 1937 he chaired the antifascist American Artists’ Congress. As an instructor at the Art Students League in New York, Weber most notably taught young Mark Rothko.
b. 1881, Bialystok, Russia (present-day Poland) d. 1961, Great Neck, New York
Woman with a Purple Scarf, 1921 Color oil sticks on light tan wove paper
9.5 x 6.5 in.
Signed and dated MAX WEBER 1921 lower right.
Rosenberg & Co 19 East 66th Street New York, NY 10065 www.rosenbergco.com 212-202-3270
ÂŠ 2019 Rosenberg & Co. All rights reserved. Photographs courtesy of Rosenberg & Co. Cover image: Georges Valmier, Personnage debout, 1920 Gouache and collage on paper, 10.6 x 8.25 in. Catalogue design by Rishi Seth Printed by Puritan Press, Inc.
In the first half of the twentieth century, art and literature took paths deemed previously unacceptable. Tables are slanted, as in Juan Gris’s delicate depiction of a bouquet of flowers, a reclining nude is orange and angular in Henri Lauren’s gouache, and Georges Valmier layered abstract planes of pure, textured color. Even words are no longer confined to their proper alignment on the page: Apollinaire’s calligrammes turn words into shapes, just as Cubist works incorporate words. This time period forever changed artists’ aesthetic vision, but it also altered the role of the art dealer. While traditional institutions often dismissed the innovative new work of the time, great dealers recognized and supported it; they took their place among the artists and the poets, propelling all of them further than they could have gone alone. Among them were Léonce Rosenberg and his Galerie de l’Effort Moderne, and Paul Rosenberg, to both of whom this publication is dedicated.