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    Sale 7735

    Impressionist/Modern Evening Sale

    23 June 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 2

    Henri Laurens (1885-1954)

    Guitare sur la table

    Price Realised  

    Henri Laurens (1885-1954)
    Guitare sur la table
    signed and dated 'LAURENS.18' (upper left)
    gouache, charcoal, white chalk, pencil and collage on paper laid down on the artist's board
    20 x 25 7/8 in. (50.8 x 65.7 cm.)
    Executed in 1918


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    Quentin Laurens, holder of the droit morale, has confirmed the authenticity of this work, which will be included in the forthcoming Henri Laurens catalogue de l'oeuvre.




    The exceptional provenance of Henri Laurens' Guitare sur la table clearly indicates the significance of its place within the history of Cubism. Created in 1918, the year of Laurens' first exhibition with Léonce Rosenberg's influential art gallery, this dynamic collage subsequently passed though the hands of both Christian Zervos and Jacques Dupin and represents a body of work in which the artist began to distill figurative forms into their most simplified elements. Laurens had been an early adherent to the Cubist aesthetics conceived by his friend Georges Braque, and Guitare sur la table reveals his adaptation of this formal vocabulary toward his own ends.

    This composition forms part of a closely related group of papiers collés that include corrugated cardboard as an integral component of a clearly articulated planar system. The striated surface of the cardboard introduces a sculptural element into a process otherwise devised to preserve the frontality of the picture plane. Indeed, Laurens' papiers collés flourished side by side with his three-dimensional works and the close connection between these two creative practices is clearly evident in the choice of materials in this work, with buff coloured card evoking wood, black paper corresponding to metal sheet, and areas of gouache denoting his innovative use of polychromed plaster and stone.

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    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Galerie de l'Effort Moderne (Léonce Rosenberg), Paris.
    Christian Zervos, Paris.
    Jacques Dupin, Paris.
    Galerie Creuzevault, Paris, until 1955.
    Acquired by the present owner circa 1955.


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION


    Literature

    J. Dupin, 'Les papiers peints d'Henri Laurens', in Cahiers d'Art, no. 2, Paris, 1954, pp. 179-190.
    M. Laurens, Henri Laurens, sculpteur, Paris, 1955 (illustrated p. 150).
    P. Waldberg, Henri Laurens ou la femme placée en abîme, Paris, 1980, p. 193 (illustrated p. 32).
    S. Kuthy, Henri Laurens, 1885-1954, Freiburg, 1985, no. 5, p. 59 (illustrated p. 58).


    Exhibited

    New York, Curt Valentin Gallery, Henri Laurens, May - June 1952, no. 38.
    Paris, Galerie Berggruen et Cie, Henri Laurens, papiers collés, March - April 1955, n.n.
    Paris, Musée national d'art moderne, A la rencontre de Pierre Reverdy, March - May 1970, no. 309 (illustrated p. 130).
    Los Angeles, County Museum of Art, The Cubist Epoch, December 1970 - February 1971, no. 166 (illustrated p. 256, pl. 317, titled 'Guitar', dated '1917-1918'); this exhibition later travelled to New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, April - June 1971.
    Bordeaux, Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Les Cubistes, May - September 1973, no. 124 (illustrated p. 71); this exhibition later travelled to Paris, Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris, September - November 1973.
    London, The Tate Gallery, The Essential Cubism, 1907-1920, Braque, Picasso and their Friends, April - July 1983, no. 204 (illustrated p. 391, catalogued as 'acquired by the present owner in 1965').
    Bern, Kunstmuseum, Henri Laurens, 1885-1954, August - October 1985, no. 5 (illustrated p. 58).
    Paris, Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Georges-Pompidou, Henri Laurens, le cubisme, constructions et papiers collés, 1915-1919, December 1985 - February 1986, no. 90 (illustrated p. 99).
    Barcelona, Museu Picasso, Henri Laurens, escultures i dibuixos, March - May 1989, no. 32.
    Villeneuve d'Ascq, Musée d'art moderne de la Communauté Urbaine de Lille, Henri Laurens, rétrospective, December 1992 - April 1993, no. 31 (illustrated p. 133).