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Updated 11/28/07
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Masters of Modernity: People III: Giacometti / Goncharova / Leger / Magritte

FFor selections from the show, see: The Figure / Artist and Model / Nature / Nature2 / People / People2 / People3
Music and Dance / Biblical etchings / Chagall's Lithographs for the Bible / Chagall and Paris / Kandinsky
Goncharova and her lifelong companion and Mikhail Larionov were among the leading members of the pre-Revolutionary Russian avant-garde. As Mary Chamont has noted, "The decade before the Russian Revolution was one of intense activity in the Moscow art world. Larionov and Goncharova were among the prime movers of this outburst, when young artists were full of new ideas. They met, organized exhibitions of their work, usually financed by some rich merchant, then fell apart with violent quarrels, only to form new combinations with different objectives and other patrons" (Goncharova: Stage Designs and Paintings, 8). Moving from an art that blended Russian folk-motifs with Fauvist colors, Larionov and Goncharova, who eventually married in 1955, were involved in the Knave of Diamonds Group, The Donkey's Tail exhibition of 1912, and the Target exhibition of 1913 at which they proclaimed Rayonism, one of the earliest Russian abstract movements. In 1914, Larionov and Goncharova went to Paris with Diaghilev's Ballet Russes. Our watercolor is the product of their aspiration to a new and more modern art. Although this piece is not on the wall, it is available in the gallery for enjoyment and/or purchase. People were Giacometti's starting pooint almost all of the time (the stray cat, dog, or tree to the contrary). Giacometti drew, painted, and sculpted his wife Annette, his mistress Caroline, his brother Diego, and his friends. They also figure prominently in his lithographs and etchings. Léger and Magritte took people as abstactions and occasions for exploring the nature of reality.
Nataliya Goncharova (Russian, 1881-1962), Classical-Cubist Head. Original watercolor, c. 1913-1916. Initialed upper left within the image with the brush; initialed verso in pencil. Colors fresh and rich. In this watercolor, Goncharova allows us the choice of seeing the head as a fairly traditional 3/4 view or as a modernist work that offers multiple possible ways of seeing the head including overlapping views composed both of shadows and of colored washes. Works by Goncharova have sold at auction for prices in excess of $300,000. Image size: 270x190mm. Price: $24,500.
Fernand Léger, The three sisters on a red background (Sapphire E-11). Serigraph after a gouache, 1954. 200 signed and numbered impressions, of which ours is n. 167/200. There are also 1000 impressions signed and dated in the stone. Staining in margins; some cracking at top of image. This work is part of an album of 10 serigraphs after gouaches published by Jean Bruller in Paris and distributed in 1954-55 by La Guilde internationale de la Gravure (Geneva-Paris). One of Leger's most important late works in less than perfect condition. Image size: 453x338mm. Price: $3750.
René Magritte (Belgian, 1896-1967), Les Amants / The Lovers. Original etching, 1928. 950 numbered impressions signed in the plate lower right plus 50 HC impressions. All are also signed with the blind stamp of the Succession Magritte (The Magritte Estate; for an enlarged view of the seal, click here.). Printed at Atelier Dutrou in Paris on Velin de Rives. This is the original publication of this etching. Image size: 121x130mm. Price: $1250.
René Magritte (Belgian, 1896-1967), Les bijoux indiscrets / The talkative jewels. Original color lithograph, 1963. 75 signed and numbered impressions, 20 HC impressions, and an edition of c. 2000 impressions published in the deluxe art review, XXe Siecle in 1963. This is his first lithograph, one of twenty lithographs and etcings he finished before his unexpected death in 1966. The work is illustrated in Gilbert Kaplan, ed. Surrealist Prints (NY: Abrams, 1997) and reproduced on the front cover of the catalogue raisonné of Magritte's prints, The Graphic Work of René Magritte, 1982. A very important print. Image size: 244x310mm. Price: $1850.
Alberto Giacometti (Swiss, 1901-1966), Woman standing. Original lithograph, 1958. Published in 1958 in a special number of the deluxe art review Derriere le Miroir. A woman, apparently Giacometti's wife Annette, stands slightly off the vertical axis like the leaning tower of Pisa. Image size: 380x280mm. Price: $850.
Alberto Giacometti (Swiss, 1901-1966), Buste II (Lust 31). Original lithograph, 1960. 150 singed and numbered impressions on Rives plus c. 1500 unsigned impressions (of which ours is one) published in 1960 in a special number of the deluxe art review Derriere le Miroir. A woman, apparently Giacometti's mistress Caroline, looks directly out at the viewer. Image size: 380x280mm. Price: $850.
Alberto Giacometti (Swiss, 1901-1966), Buste (Lust 156). Original lithograph, 1961. 125 singed and numbered impressions plus c. 1500 unsigned impressions (of which ours is one) published in 1961 in a special number of the deluxe art review Derriere le Miroir devoted to Giacometti. A woman, apparently Giacometti's wife Annette, looks off into nowhere. This work was executed shortly after Giacometti began his affair with Caroline. Image size: 380x280mm. Price: $850.
Alberto Giacometti (Swiss, 1901-1966), Head of a man / Diego (Lust 155). Original lithograph, 1961. 90 signed and numbered impressions, of which ours is one. There are also c. 1500 impressions on paper with no margins as published in a 1961 issue of Derrière le Miroir dedicated to Giacometti's work. Giacometti's brother and assistant Diego was also a sculptor, but this is less a portrait than a statement about anxiety and the human condition. Image size: 380x280mm; paper size: 550x378mm (21-5/8x14-7/8 inches). Price: $7600.

Also available: one of the c. 1500 unsigned impressions as published in Derrière le Miroir. Image and paper size: 380x280mm. Price: $850.
Alberto Giacometti (Swiss, 1901-1966), Head of a Man (Paris Sans Fin plate 138, Lust 342). Original lithograph, 1957-1962. Proof before publication in Paris Sans Fin. Edition: 250 impressions on Arches plus 20 HC; ours is a proof before publication. Illustrated in From Manet to Hockney: Modern Artists' Illustrated Books (London: Victoria and Alberts Museum, 1985). Lust 343 is on the reverse. Image size: 410x322mm. Price: $2500.
Alberto Giacometti (Swiss, 1901-1966), Head of a Man (Paris Sans Fin plate 137, Lust 341). Original lithograph, 1957-1962. Proof before publication in Paris Sans Fin. Edition: 250 impressions on Arches plus 20 HC; ours is a proof before publication. Lust 340 is on the reverse. Image size: 410x322mm. Price: $2400.
Alberto Giacometti (Swiss, 1901-1966), In the bistro (Paris Sans Fin plate 88, Lust 292). Original lithograph, 1957-1962. Proof before publication in Paris Sans Fin. Edition: 250 impressions on Arches plus 20 HC; ours is a proof before publication. Lust 293 is on the reverse. Image size: 410x322mm. Price: $2400.
Alberto Giacometti (Swiss, 1901-1966), Man dining (Paris Sans Fin plate 90, Lust 294). Original lithograph, 1957-1962. Proof before publication in Paris Sans Fin. Edition: 250 impressions on Arches plus 20 HC; ours is a proof before publication. Lust 295 is on the reverse. The man resembles the philosopher and playwright Jean-Paul Sartre, a friend of Giacometti who wrote an essay about his work published in Derriere le Miroir. Image size: 410x322mm. Price: $2500.

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