hermitage museum foundation

Oct 21 2015



New York, October 21, 2015—Torkom Demirjian, Chairman of the Hermitage Museum Foundation (USA), announced the donation and delivery to the State Hermitage Museum in Russia of a rare collection of plasters and drawings by legendary Cubist sculptor Jacques Lipchitz. The important donation was made by Hanno Mott, Esq., noted art law counsel and stepson of the artist, on behalf of the Jacques & Yulla Lipchitz Foundation based in New York. A grant by Jonathan Rosen and family made delivery of the Cubist platers and drawings possible. The Hermitage Museum will display the Lipchitz sculptures and drawings in a separate room of its General Staff Building and will celebrate the opening of the exhibit in October with a later ceremony in New York with the Hermitage Museum Foundation and the Jacques and Yulla Lipchitz Foundation.

Video: Jacques Lipchitz recounts first visit to Hermitage Museum (Courtesy of the Israel Museum): click here to view

"Under the Hermitage Museum's aegis, the Jacques Lipchitz plasters and drawings will offer penetrating insights into one of the pillars of the Cubist art movement and the 20th Century Avant-Garde to a broad international public. We are humbled by the generosity of Hanno Mott, son of the artist's late widow Yulla Lipchitz and the critical support of Jonathan Rosen and his family," Commented Torkom Demirjian, Chairman of the Hermitage Museum Foundation. "As a Russian émigré to America via France, the Lipchitz gift embodies the spirit of our Foundation's Art from America initiative with the Hermitage Museum and the unbreakable ties of culture between our two countries," he added.

On Jacques Lipchitz— by Kosme de Barañano
Jacques Lipchitz (Druskieniki, Lithuania, 1891 - Capri, Italy, 1973) was a key figure in the Cubist movement and in the artistic panorama of the 20th century avant-garde, as are Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque or Julio González. These artists coincided with Lipchitz in Paris in the first two decades of that century, sharing concerns and projects and laying the foundations of the Cubist vocabulary in painting and sculpture. Cubism is a door, which opens onto not only a style but also a philosophy of looking at space to subsequently shape it in one's own way. In 1914, Lipchitz met Picasso through Diego Rivera and in 1915 he met Juan Gris. His first cubist work dates from 1914, Sailor with Guitar. In 1916 Modigliani painted his portrait with his first wife now in the Art Institute of Chicago.

Jacques Lipchitz's work is present in practically every museum in the world, from the Metropolitan Museum in New York to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, to the Tate Gallery in London to the Museum of Rotterdam. His public work is in cities such as Philadelphia, Rome, Paris, London, Los Angeles, and elsewhere.

This great artist who had to emigrate in 1909 from Lithuania to France and then in 1941 from there to the United States, always took his ideas and talent with him. His work not only speaks of exiles but also of the misfortunes of man (in the mid 1950's, his New York studio burned down) and above all of man's recoveries, with references both to Greek mythology and to the Old Testament. In his personal cocktail shaker of forms, Lipchitz returns to the images of different religious traditions to create a poem, visual in his case, like lyrical mysticism that transcends the usual meaning of words in search of the ineffable, of a transcendental sculptural experience.

This very personal language of interacting forms, which Lipchitz developed, constitutes his style and is detected immediately. It goes beyond the literal sense of the characters of Scripture or the Mythology by connecting and binding his unique sculpture, a figuration that is not as abrupt as it might appear at first glance, and which gradually reveals itself to the gaze, creating formal movement with bodies.

The sense of movement created by the interpenetration of forms and volumes, the feeling of lightness and of weight, the kinds of schematic narrative and the monumental scale, speak to us, in their difficult yet attractive forms, of the force of human action and of the struggle for a better, more sincere world.

There is in the life of Jacques Lipchitz, a cosmopolitan and tireless traveler, a great desire to transcend boundaries with his art, a longed-for and desired universality in his artistic evangelization, which expresses many themes always in dialogue with current experiences. It is a sculpture to look at and meditate on at the same time.

Lipchitz was in contact with the best architects of the day and had good studios one on the outskirts of Paris designed and built by Le Corbusier in 1922-24 and then in Hastings on the Hudson, outside of New York City, built by Martin Lowenfish in 1952.