Jacques Lipchitz

Head and Hand


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Not on display

Jacques Lipchitz 1891–1973
Object: 197 x 158 x 95 mm
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982

Display caption

Although Lipchitz was never linked to the Surrealist group, in the early 1930s he often showed a preoccupation with the themes of metamorphosis, dislocation, and allusion to myth that were very much associated with Surrealism in this period. In this small sculpture there is no obvious narrative explanation for the bird-like head resting on the hand. However, the subject is reminiscent of myths of the classical world, which are filled with stories of humans mixing with beasts, or being turned into animals. This allusion to ancient fables is reinforced by the use here of terracotta, a medium particularly associated with earthenware and figurines of classical times.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

T03496 Head and Hand 1932

Terracotta 7 3/4 × 6 1/4 × 3 3/4 (197 × 158 × 95)
Inscribed ‘Lipchitz’ incised under base, and ‘427’ in black under base
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982
Lit: Arnason 1969, repr. 74 (bronze); Lipchitz 1972, pp.115 and 124–5

This terracotta is similar to the ‘Head, Bust and Arms’ T03498 and ‘Bust of Woman’ T03504 of the same year, and both are part of a numerous group of such small studies.

[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

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