Jacques Lipchitz estate at Marlborough Gallery NYC

Sculpture Forum 4 Jacques Lipchitz November 13 2019 “The Estate of Jacques Lipchitz The Paris Years: Sculpture and Drawing, 1911-1932.” Exhibit at Marlborough Gallery NYC October 17 – November 23, 2019. Participants Garth Evans, curator, critic and art historian Karen Wilkin, sculptors Brandt Junceau and Jock Ireland (video by Maud Bryt).

Here are some excerpts from the lively discussion:

When I go to see an exhibition like this, I’m thinking a number of things. I’m trying to reevaluate my sense of an artist who’s got some stature, some standing, and at the same time to ask myself what touches me now when I look at this work, what seems to me to be still relevant—to what I’m doing—and I didn’t find much in this exhibition I’m afraid that spoke to that. I think the things that did were the small things that seemed to have a sense of touch: that little lump there that is a woman resting on her elbow was one of the things in the show that I found surprising and seemed to be very fresh. It could have been made at the Studio School yesterday. –Garth Evans

The issue for me is that what should be an invigorating tension between the old master associations that Brandt pointed out and the cubist forms seems to dull the articulation of the cubist forms. They never really seem to me to be clearly articulated or clearly enough articulated: in a couple of the little ones where you have some separate pieces, where there was some air or some space between things—and then there is the one large sculpture where something opens up. Those were much more exciting for me because there was the play between the solid and the void. Many of them get very airless. –Karen Wilkin

I was only hooked by a relative few objects, but I found myself looking at all of them in terms of some kind of a logical code reading through all of them. One of these things that I seem to spot was this kind of hypergravity that would make things congeal—kind of unify them into a monolith. I’m thinking now the monolith is almost less than a three-dimensional thing. The monolith is almost a two and a half dimensional thing—in the sense that it has no third option . . . somehow. –Brandt Junceau

I started thinking about Hans Hofmann in relation to these—only because all his life Hofmann had a really heavy hand. –Karen Wilkin

I like the reference to Hofmann. I think it’s apt, but I do think possibly Hofmann was much more intellectually alert. I get the feeling with Lipchitz he’s quite kind of primitive. –Garth Evans

Sidney Geist interviewed Lipchitz. A tape recorder was playing. They were talking about sculpture, but then there was a moment when Lipchitz put his hand on the tape recorder and said, “Stop the tape,” and he turned to Sidney and said, “What good is music? What’s music for?”  –Jock Ireland

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