Braco Dimitrijevic

Louvre (‘Leonardo da Vinci’ ‘Albert Evans’)


Not on display

Braco Dimitrijevic born 1948
Bronze and marble
Object: 1841 × 330 × 350 mm
object: 1830 × 330 × 350 mm
Purchased 1983

Catalogue entry

T03686 Louvre (‘Leonardo da Vinci’ ‘Albert Evans’) 1975–82

Two bronze busts, each on integral pedestal in green marble
‘Leonardo da Vinci’ 72 1/2 × 13 × 13 3/4 (1841 × 330 × 350) and ‘Albert Evans’ 72 × 13 × 13 3/4 (1830 × 330 × 350)
‘Leonardo da Vinci’ inscribed
‘leonardo/da/vinci’ on front of base and ‘Albert Evans’ inscribed
‘ALBERT/EVANS’ on front of base
Purchased from Waddington Galleries (Grant-in-Aid) 1983
Exh: Aspects of British Art Today, Metropolitan Art Museum, Tokyo, February–April 1982, Tochigi Prefectural Museum of Fine Arts, Utsunomiya Tochigi, April–May 1982, National Museum of Art, Osaka, June–July 1982, Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, August 1982, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, September–October 1982 (60, repr.); Sculpture, Waddington Galleries, September–October 1982 (11, as ‘Leonardo da Vinci: Painter, Scientist, Genius, John Evans: The Casual Passer-by I met, 1975–82’, repr.); New Art at the Tate Gallery 1983, September–October 1983 (listed p.67); Forty Years of Modern Art 1945–1985, Tate Gallery, February–April 1986 (not in catalogue)
Lit: Braco Dimitrijevic, Tractatus Post Historicus, Tübingen, 1976; David Brown, Braco Dimitrijevic, Triptychos Post Historicus, exhibition leaflet, Tate Gallery, September 1985 (n.p.)

‘Louvre (‘J.M.W. Turner’ ‘Edward Rampton’)’ and ‘Louvre (‘Leonardo da Vinci’ ‘Albert Evans’)’ each consist of two paired bronze heads on marble pedestals. According to the artist, ‘Turner’ and ‘Rampton’ were first exhibited at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven as part of a series of eight paired sculptures, collectively titled ‘Louvre’ 1975, a title chosen because it suggests the ultimate museum. The complete installation is reproduced in the catalogue for Dimitrijevic's exhibition at the Kunsthalle Tübingen in 1979 (n.p.). In the Eindhoven installation, the following pairs were exhibited with ‘Turner and Rampton’: ‘Leonardo da Vinci and Gerhard Hecht’ (now coll. Stadtisches Museum Abteiberg Möchengladbach), ‘Albrecht Dürer and Dieter Koch’ (private collection) and ‘Rembrandt van Rijn and Frans van Dooren’ (coll. Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven). ‘Leonardo da Vinci and Albert Evans’ were cast later and apart from exhibitions in London, have not, according to the artist, been shown in Europe.

Each pair portrays a famous artist beside a bust of an unknown. The selection of the ‘unknown’ was undertaken in the same manner as the selection for participators in the ‘Casual Passer-by’ series - the individuals were picked at random by Dimitrijevic, who told them his story of the Two Artists (see entry for T03684).

In her introduction to Dimitrijevic's exhibition at the ICA in 1979 (op.cit.), Sarah Kent wrote:

‘Louvre’ is a discourse on the importance of art and artists. Bronze busts on marble plinths carry the likenesses of acknowledged ‘geniuses’ such as Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt van Rijn, J.M.W. Turner and Albrecht Dürer, alternating with the unknown passers-by Gerhard Hecht, Frans van Dooren, Edward Rampton and Dieter Koch. Like Dimitrijevic's other work, the busts raise a number of complex and difficult issues. The juxtaposition of world famous men of the past with our anonymous contemporaries encourages a comparison between past and present artistic achievements. Like the masks of ancient Greek theatre these heads offer two sides of the same coin - fame and anonymity. Whether or not we have the opportunity to flourish, Dimitrijevic suggests, is largely beyond our control-a mixture of historical accident and chance occurrence.

The artist has written (note to David Brown, May 1985):

[The] Bust pieces - Leonardo - Evans, Turner-Rampton, deal with [the] problem of the end of formal evolution, because [the] bust as a form of art as well as [a] form of glorification and commemoration existed for centuries. Its innovation is in composing the blocks of meaning (linked with busts) in order to create a new, semantic structure.

The catalogue for Dimitrijevic's exhibition at the Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsrühe reproduces the majority of works by him using the commemorative bust form, pairing famous artists with ‘unknowns’. These have been:

‘David Harper, the Casual Passer-by I Met at 1.10 PM’ (see catalogue entry for T 03684, repr. Karlsruhe fig. 10)
‘Monument to Albert Vieri, the Casual Passer-by I met at 4.15 PM, Turin 1973’ (repr. Karlsruhe figs 68–70)
‘This could be a masterpiece’ (1975) using a bronze bust of the painter Max Roeden from the collection of Stadtisches Museum, Mönchengladbach
‘Michelangelo Buonarotti - Mario Orsini’, plaster (Karlsruhe fig. 12)
‘Leonardo da Vinci-Andelko Hundiċ’ 1976 (fig. 84), coll. Museum Van Hedendaagse Kunst, Ghent
‘Leonardo da Vinci - Julius Rehse’ 1976, plaster (fig. 89)
‘About Two Artists: Albert Dürer - Dieter Koch’ 1976, plaster (fig. 91), private collection
‘About Two Artists: Michelangelo Buonarotti-Franco Grassi’ 1977, plaster (figs. 95–8)

Dimitrijevic modelled the heads of Albert Evans and Edward Rampton from photographs and based those of the two artists on self portraits. For the head of Turner, he used the self portrait in the Tate (c.1798, N00458; see Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised edition, New Haven and London, 1984, no.25, repr. pl.19). As with the earlier works involving heads, each pair may be exhibited without the other. The artist has confirmed to the compiler that when T03686 was exhibited in Japan it was accompanied by a small framed certificate measuring approximately 30 × 40 cm which had been signed by him and carried the ‘About Two Artists’ story and that this is the correct method of display for both T03685 and T03686. This juxtaposition of story and statues was one he had already used in earlier works in the series, sometimes subtitled ‘Dialectical Chapels’, for example, the work he exhibited in the Venice Biennale in 1976, ‘About Two Artists: Leonardo da Vinci: painter, scientist, genius. Andelko Hundic: casual passer-by I met’.

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

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