Antoine Pevsner 1884-1962
T01527 Pour une Façade de Musée
(For the Façade of a Museum) 1943-4
Inscribed '43 A.P. 44' on front edge of flange at bottom centre; also ANTONE [sic] PEVSNER | 1943-1944' on wooden backing (this latter inscription probably not by the artist)
Oxidised bronze, on wooden backing, 17 1/4 x 28 3/4 x 15 3/8 (43.5 x 73 x 39)
Purchased at Sotheby's (Grant-in-Aid) 1972
Prov: Purchased by Arnold H. Maremont, Chicago and New York, from the artist 1959, and sold by him at Sotheby's, London, 12 April 1972, lot 46, repr. in colour; bt. Gimpel Fils for the Tate Gallery
Exh: Antoine Pevsner, Galerie René Drouin, Paris, June-July 1947 (works not listed, repr.); Gabo - Pevsner, Museum of Modern Art, New York, February-April 1948 (works not numbered); Antoine Pevsner, Georges Vantongerloo, Max Bill, Kunsthaus, Zurich, October-November 1949 (19); Antoine Pevsner, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, December 1956-March 1957 (39); XXIX Biennale, Venice, June-October 1958 (France 79); The Maremont Collection, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, April 1961 (174, repr.); Treasures of 20th Century Art from the Maremont Collection, Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Washington, DC, April-May 1964 (223, repr.)
Lit: Pierre Peissi and Carola Giedion-Welcker, Antoine Pevsner (Neuchâtel 1961), No.97, p.150, repr. as 'Pour une Façade de Musée'
Repr: Katherine S. Dreier, Le Corbusier and others, Antoine Pevsner (Paris 1947), n.p. as 'Construction (haut-relief)'; René Massat, Antoine Pevsner et le Constructivisme (Paris 1956), n.p. as 'Fragment d'une Façade pour un Musée'; Philip Wilson and Annamaria Macdonald (ed.), Art at Auction 1971-72 (London 1972), p.138 in colour
This sculpture has been exhibited and reproduced both as 'Construction (high-relief)' and as 'For the Façade of a Museum'. Arnold H. Maremont, the first owner, said that he had the impression in talking with the artist that he actually planned it to be enlarged and then placed over a large door or entrance to an airport. According to Mme Virginie Pevsner, the artist's widow (letter of 29 January 1973), her husband created it with the idea of making a large high-relief for the wall of a museum. However it was certainly not made as a commission and no version on a larger scale was ever carried out.
Pevsner is said to have displayed it hanging on a wall, but it was also photographed and reproduced in his lifetime standing on a base.
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.587-8, reproduced p.587