Albert Gleizes 1881-1953
Inscribed 'ALBERT GLEIZES | 1921' b.r.
Tempera on panel, 36 1/4 x 28 3/4 (92 x 73)
Purchased at Sotheby's (Grant-in-Aid) 1962
Prov: With Léonce Rosenberg, Paris (Galerie de l'Effort Moderne); Dr John Joseph Wardell Power, Jersey, Channel Islands; Power sale, Sotheby's, London, 7 November 1962, lot 17 repr. as 'Abstraction'
Exh: Albert Gleizes 1881-1953, Guggenheim Museum, New York, September-October 1964 (123, repr.) as 'Composition (Tableau)'; Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, December 1964-January 1965 (57, repr.); Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund, March-April 1965 (57, repr.)
Repr: Bulletin de 'L'Effort Moderne', No.13, March 1925, between pp.8 and 9 as 'Tableau 1921'
Daniel Robbins wrote on 15 October 1975 that it was Gleizes' unvarying practice to develop a work very carefully, and to draw the composition in pencil, and to make several gouaches with varying colour possibilities before doing a final version such as this. He had already found preliminary versions of all the works reproduced on pages 90-1 of his Guggenheim Museum catalogue, except this one.
'You are quite correct to see a female head in the image. I am sure it is a portrait, and moreover that it is based on Mme Gleizes in a very chic hat. The central image is frontal: a sort of cloche with a foll, a scarf, very like the hats Mme Gleizes still loved to wear only a few years ago. The 2nd concentric set is the head again, closer, and the 3rd of course gives an idea of the hair, concealed in the hat.'
A study for it in gouache, 39.5 x 29.5cm and signed and dated 1920, with various minor differences in composition and painted in a colour range of pinks, purples and creamy browns was sold at Sotheby's on 26 March 1980, lot 268 repr.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.288-9, reproduced p.288