Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

The Imp


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Not on display

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska 1891–1915
Object: 406 × 89 × 83 mm
Permanently attached to MDF(paintable) plinth base 15x210x255 mm
Presented by C. Frank Stoop through the Contemporary Art Society 1930

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Gaudier-Brzeska much admired the non-European sculptures that he saw at the British Museum. The Imp echoes the proportions and features of such sculptures. The overtly phallic form reflects the commonly held view of the day that equated so-called ‘primitive’ cultures with energising sexuality.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

N04516 THE IMP c. 1914
Not inscribed.
Veined alabaster, 16×3 1/2×3 1/4 (40·5×9×8·5), including base; the work has been broken at the base and restored.
Presented by C. Frank Stoop through the Contemporary Art Society 1930.
Coll: As for No.4514.
Exh: London Group, March 1915 (96), as ‘Statuette in Alabaster’; Leicester Galleries, May–June 1918 (28); Temple Newsam, Leeds, June–August 1943 (77); Arts Council, 1956–7 (27).
Lit: Pound, 1916, p.161, No.28, pl.18; Ede, 1930, p.205, repr. pl.45.
Repr: E. H. Ramsden, Twentieth Century Sculpture, 1949, pl.31, as c. 1912; Pound, 1957, p.21.

According to Ede and the Leicester Galleries catalogue this was carved in 1914. Pound describes it as a ‘late work, grotesque’.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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