The Sculpture of Jacques Lipchitz

The Sculpture of Jacques Lipchitz

The Sculpture of Jacques Lipchitz

The Sculpture of Jacques Lipchitz

Excerpt

Jacques Lipchitz is one of the great sculptors of our time. For over forty years, he has been an important figure in modern art. Long recognized as a master in the School of Paris, he was forced in 1941 to take refuge in the United States, and since that time has chosen to remain here.

This exhibition provides his fellow citizens with a unique opportunity to see his sculpture and judge its quality. It is a rich accumulation, for in his long career he has been very productive. Always a pathfinder, seeking to "liberate sculpture from its traditional imprisonment," he has continued to grow, to find new images that express his ideas.

It is a long line of growth with many variations, going all the way from the abstract to the naturalistic, yet there is an unbroken continuity: "In my work there have never been abrupt changes. Each new sculpture grew out of those which preceded it."

In technique Lipchitz is a modeller. Almost every sculpture he ever made was first conceived in clay. Direct carving, because of its slowness, never appealed to him. His stone sculptures were cut after clay models; he deemed it sufficient to finish the surface once the groundwork had been "pointed" by a stone cutter. It is the same when he makes a plaster model: the cast may be filed, sawed, or remodelled, but the essential realization of the form is in the clay that preceded the plaster.

Consequently, very many of his sculptures are in bronze, and Lipchitz has become a master craftsman in exploiting the potentialities of cast metal. When he works his clay, he seems to visualize the effect it will have in bronze, as a composer hears the sounds of his orchestration. The bold pattern of bosses and recessions and the endless rhythm of broken surfaces he sees as metallic reflections, adding sparkle and variety to his composition. At the foundry he is a major-domo, supervising every operation, often at great length -- it took him three weeks to repair the arm of a wax mold that had melted during a heat wave. He hammers, files and polishes the bronze with great care, and then applies . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.