Albert Gleizes (1881-1953)
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Albert Gleizes (1881-1953)

Le chemin (Meudon)

Albert Gleizes (1881-1953)
Le chemin (Meudon)
signed and dated 'Albert Gleizes 1911' (lower right)
oil on canvas
57 5/8 x 45 in. (146.4 x 114.4 cm.)
Painted in 1911
Alphonse Kann, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, from whom confiscated by the National Socialists in 1940.
Deposited with the Musée national d'Art moderne, Paris, by L'Office des biens privés (Office of Private Properties; inv. no. RIP) in 1949.
Restituted to the heirs of Alphonse Kann in July 1997.
Acquired from the above; sale, Christie's, New York, 9 November 1999, lot 516.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
J. Golding, Cubism, London, 1959, p. 150.
B. Dorival, The School of Paris in the Musée d'Art Moderne, New York, 1962, p. 148 (illustrated).
P. Alibert, Albert Gleizes, naissance et avenir du cubisme, Saint-Etienne, 1982, pp. 13, 40 and 70 (illustrated).
A. de la Beaumelle & N. Pouillon (eds.), La collection du Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, 1986, pp. 247-248 (illustrated p. 247).
H. Feliciano, The Lost Museum: The Nazi Conspiracy to Steal the World's Greatest Works of Art, New York, 1997, p. 225 (illustrated p. C15).
A. Varichon, Albert Gleizes: Catalogue raisonné, vol. I, Paris, 1998, no. 369, p. 135 (illustrated).
D. Cottington, Cubism in the Shadow of the War - the avant-garde and politics in Paris, 1905-1914, New Haven & London, 1998, p. 112 (illustrated).
Brussels, Salon des Indépendants: Delaunay, Gleizes, Léger, Le Fauconnier, June - July 1911, no. 88 (titled 'Le chemin').
Barcelona, Galeries Dalmau, Exposicio d'art cubista, April - May 1912, no. 16.
Paris, Galerie La Boétie (Helen Serger), La Section d'Or, October 1912, no. 39 (titled 'Meudon').
London, Tate Gallery, Autour du cubisme, July - September 1956, no. 7; this exhibition later travelled to Birmingham, City Art Gallery.
Boston, Institute of Contemporary Art, Paintings from the Musée national d'Art moderne, October 1957 - April 1958, no. 17 (illustrated); this exhibition later travelled to Columbus, Ohio, Gallery of Fine Arts; Pittsburg, Carnegie Institute and Minneapolis, Walker Art Center.
New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Albert Gleizes, 1881-1953, A Retrospective Exhibition, September - October 1964, no. 23 (illustrated); this exhibition later travelled to Paris, Musée national d'Art moderne, December 1964 - January 1965, no. 9 and Dortmund, Museum am Ostwall, March - April 1965, no. 9 (titled 'Paysage, Meudon').
Créteil, Hall d'exposition, L'abbaye à Créteil, October 1971, no. 35.
Milan, Palazzo Reale, Boccioni e il suo tempo, December 1973 - February 1974, no. 147 (illustrated).
Aix-en-Provence, Atelier Paul Cézanne, Pages Cézanniennes: Albert Gleizes, August - October 1986, n.n..
Edinburgh, National Gallery of Scotland, Monet to Matisse: Landscape in France, 1874-1914, August - October 1994, no. 10 (illustrated pp. 84 and 160).
Barcelona, Museu Picasso, Albert Gleizes: el cubisme en majestat, March - August 2001, no. 31; this exhibition later travelled to Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts, September - December 2001 (illustrated p. 44, titled 'Le Chemin, Meudon').
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Giovanna Bertazzoni
Giovanna Bertazzoni

Lot Essay

Le Chemin (Meudon) is a large and important painting made by Albert Gleizes in the summer of 1911 at the height of his new friendship and collaboration with fellow Cubist Jean Metzinger. One of his largest and most ambitious paintings from this period, made in direct response to the inspiration of Metzinger, it was exhibited by Gleizes at the groundbreaking exhibition of the so-called 'Salon Cubists', Robert Delaunay, Fernand Léger, Henri Le Fauconnier and Gleizes, at the Salon des Indépendants in June 1911.

With its prismatic Cubism, shifting multiple perspective points and its holistic integration of landscape and figure centred around this lone figures journey through a path in the woods and through the heart of the picture, this work represents a radical extension of Gleizes' Cubism into an entirely new integrated and simultaneous style of composition. In this it reflects and in fact depicts the importance of the influence of what Gleizes himself later termed his 'rodage' with Metzinger at this time when the two artists, living in Meudon, were in almost daily contact with one another and developed an intimate understanding of each others art practice and ideas. Indeed, this scene with its view of a bend in the river depicts an idealised version of the landscape in Bas-Meudon through which Gleizes walked almost everyday on his journey to and from Metzinger's house.

At this time, the Parisian suburb of Meudon marked one of the borderlines between the city and the country. A familiar sight for Gleizes on his walk through the woods would have been the burgeoning factories then springing up on the other side of the river Seine. In Le Chemin (Meudon) Gleizes has consciously repressed such urbanised imagery in favour of creating a deliberately more idealised and even classical sense of landscape as if he were championing the values of traditionalism, the pastoral and the classical against those of the city and modernity.

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