Jacques Lipchitz

Seated Man with Clarinet I


Not on display

Jacques Lipchitz 1891–1973
Original title
Homme assis à la clarinette I
Object: 775 × 293 × 280 mm
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982

Display caption

The figure of a clarinet player emerges from a series of block-like forms in this sculpture. Musical subject matter was typical of early works by the cubists Picasso and Braque, and the angular facets of this work suggest a relationship to the geometric shapes of cubist painting. The work also reflects the aesthetic ideals of purism, a movement which began after the First World War and sought to develop aspects of cubism, emphasising simplicity and harmony.

Gallery label, April 2012

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Catalogue entry

T03488 Seated Man with Clarinet I 1920

Plaster coated with shellac 30 1/2 × 11 1/2 × 11 (775 × 293 × 280)
Inscribed on reverse at base ‘JL - V - 20’ moulded into the plaster, and ‘96’ on top of base at front, in pencil
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982
Lit: Stott 1975, 58 (bronze, as ‘1919’)
Repr: L'Esprit Nouveau, 1920, p.182

The plaster of a different version of this, ‘Seated Man with Clarinet II’ is in the collection of the University of Arizona Museum of Art (Arizona 1982, 1, repr, 30 1/2 ins. high). It differs from the Tate Gallery plaster throughout, particularly in the shape of the feet, which are pointed. Bronze casts of both sculptures were exhibited in Jacques Lipchitz, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, March–May 1958 (31 and 32).

The plaster is presumably an original of 1920. The signature was transferred in the mould from the clay. A stone carving is not recorded, although a carving of the plaster at Arizona is illustrated in the catalogue Les Maîtres de l'Art Indépendant, Petit Palais, Paris, June–October 1937 (6, as ‘L'Homme Assis’).

[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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