Jacques Lipchitz Head of Géricault
Jacques Lipchitz Head of Géricault, 1933. Bronze.


Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973) is recognised as the most prominent Cubist sculptor of the twentieth century. Lipchitz more than any other avant-garde sculptor embraced the movement’s language and drew on it for his entire career, consistently translating its ideologies into sculptural forms.

A Jewish Lithuanian immigrant, Lipchitz arrived in Paris in 1909 where he established himself as one of the capital’s most successful avant-garde artists. The threat of Hitler’s troops prompted Lipchitz to move to America in 1941. There he successfully rebuilt his career and was soon recognised as one of the most accomplished monumental sculptors of his generation.

Cathy Putz, who has been working for the past three years as the Courtauld Institute Gallery’s Registrar, completed her doctorate in 1999 on the subject of Cubist sculpture in France between the wars, Jacques Lipchitz’s work in particular. She remains in touch with Lipchitz’s family, and in the process of her research agreed with the artist’s estate that a gift of Lipchitz’s plasters should be made to the Gallery upon dispersal of the material in his studio in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York State, USA. A selection of 35 plasters was recently made, spanning the artist’s entire career, and including a number of major Cubist works. It is expected that these will be shipped to London in the autumn, and that an exhibition on Lipchitz and the Courtauld gift will take place in the Gallery during early 2003.

The photograph shows Lipchitz’s Head of Géricault, 1933, in bronze. The Courtauld gift will include the plaster maquette for this sculpture.

CATHY PUTZ