Jacques Lipchitz

First Study for ‘Toward a New World’

1934, cast 1965

Jacques Lipchitz 1891–1973
Original title
Etude pour 'Vers un monde nouveau'
Object: 108 x 89 x 51 mm
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982

Not on display

Catalogue entry

T03512 First Study for ‘Toward a New World’ 1934

Plaster, partly stained from the mould 4 1/4 × 3 1/2 × 2 (108 × 89 × 51)
Not inscribed
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982
Lit: Arnason 1969, repr.107 (bronze); Lipchitz 1972, p.132

Arnason reproduces three further studies for this subject, each with two standing figures. A plaster was included in Lipchitz's exhibition at the Galerie Maeght, Paris, in 1946 (58), probably the one which is illustrated in Maurice Raynal, Jacques Lipchitz, 1947 (50 ins. high).

Lipchitz's account points out that the subject was connected with a commission from Russia for a monument to the Russian revolution. He visited his family in Russia in 1935, after his first designs for the monument. His project was not accepted, and after the war he used the composition as a starting point for the commission in America for a monument to ‘Enterprise’ (see T03493 and T00320 of 1953).

Most of the surviving maquettes of 1934 and 1935 are projects for monuments. Aside from the ‘David and Goliath’ and the Soviet Monument, I made the initial designs entitled ‘Toward a New World’, which I was finally able to complete as ‘Enterprise’ for Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, in the 1950s. The four surviving maquettes show with increasing complications figures carrying a flag. They are organized in a violently agitated pyramid, interpenetrated spatially, with the great flag in undulating motion, sweeping over and encompassing the group. ‘Toward a New World’ was also one of the very few political sculptures I have made, suggestive of my momentary enthusiasm for the revolutionary cause of Russia, an enthusiasm which did not survive very long, because I have always been and continued to be on the side of freedom and against any form of oppression or dictatorship (Lipchitz, loc.cit.).

An invoice of 1 June 1965 from the Modern Art Foundry, New York, refers to this plaster or to another version. The plaster was cast at about that time, and is not of high quality. The five-pointed Jewish star on the banner was cut into the plaster.

[For T03397 and T03479 to T03534 the foundry inscriptions, and reproductions of casts in other materials in the books listed below, are recorded. Abbreviations used:

Arnason 1969 H.H. Arnason, Jacques Lipchitz: Sketches in Bronze, 1969

Lipchitz 1972 Jacques Lipchitz, My Life in Sculpture, 1972

Stott 1975 Deborah A. Stott, Jacques Lipchitz and Cubism, 1975 (reprinted 1978)

Otterlo 1977 A.M. Hammacher, Lipchitz in Otterlo, Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, 1977

Centre Pompidou 1978 Nicole Barbier, Lipchitz: oeuvres de Jacques Lipchitz (1891–1973) dans les collections du Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, 1978

Arizona 1982 Jacques Lipchitz. Sketches and Models in the collection of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona. Introduction and catalogue by Peter Bermingham, 1982]

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986