Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more An American Place: The Barney A. Ebsworth Collection
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)

Relief (Woman) [LF 128]

Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)
Relief (Woman) [LF 128]
bronze relief with brown patina
86 ½ x 50 in. (219.7 x 127 cm.)
Modeled 1925-34; cast by 1997.
The Lachaise Foundation, Boston, Massachusetts.
[With]Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, Inc., New York.
Acquired by the late owner from the above, 2002.
L. Kirstein, Gaston Lachaise Retrospective Exhibition, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1935, p. 28, pl. 54, the plaster model illustrated (as ReliefWoman).
Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, Gaston Lachaise: Sculpture and Drawings, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1973, n.p., the plaster model illustrated (as Woman).
C.W. Post Art Gallery, The Long Island Art Collectors Exhibition: Modern Masterpieces and Contemporary Art from Long Island Art Collections, exhibition catalogue, Greenvale, New York, 1975, n.p., another example referenced (as ReliefWoman).
Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, Inc., Gaston Lachaise: The Monumental Sculpture, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1994, no. 4, another example illustrated (as Bas Relief Woman).
A.B. Morgan, “Gaston Lachaise: The Monumental Sculpture,” American Art Review, vol. 7, no. 5, October-November 1995, p. 120, another example illustrated (as Relief--Woman).
Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, Inc., Gaston Lachaise [1882-1935]: Reliefs, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1999, n.p., no. 8, illustrated (as Bas Relief Woman).
D.E. Scott, M. Friedman, Modern Sculpture at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: An Anniversary Celebration, Kansas City, Missouri, 1999, p. 11, another example illustrated (as Bas Relief Woman).
D. Ngo, ed., Art + Architecture: The Ebsworth Collection + Residence, San Francisco, California, 2006, n.p., illustrated.
Gerald Peters Gallery, Gaston Lachaise: A Modern Epic Vision, New York, 2012, pl. 35, another example illustrated (as Relief [Woman] [LF 128]).
V. Budny, Gaston Lachaise: For the Love of Woman, exhibition catalogue, New York, 2016, pp. 8, 10-11, 38-40, fig. 14, another example illustrated (as Figure of a Woman [Relief--Woman] [LF 128]).
New York, Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, Inc., Twentieth Century Selections, November 1-24, 2001.
Special notice

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Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) at 5pm on the last day of the sale. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services. Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information. This sheet is available from the Bidder Registration staff, Purchaser Payments or the Packing Desk and will be sent with your invoice.

Brought to you by

Sara Friedlander
Sara Friedlander

Lot Essay

We are grateful to Virginia Budny, author of the forthcoming catalogue raisonné sponsored by the Lachaise Foundation, for her assistance in preparing the catalogue entry for this work.

Gaston Lachaise created Relief (Woman), a heroic low relief of a lightly draped nude, in homage to his beloved wife, Isabel Nagel. He developed the full-size model for the work over a nine-year period. The first version, recorded in photographs and a plaster fragment, was created in 1925. When Lachaise revisited the relief in August 1934, he wrote to Isabel: “I have begun to work again--almost finished the bas relief--the large one in plaster--It is definitely evolving into a fine work--tranquil and generous.” (as quoted in V. Budny, Gaston Lachaise: For the Love of Woman, exhibition catalogue, New York, 2016, p. 11) In the completed version, the woman is more majestic, her forms are more abundant, and her drapery is more voluminous. The resulting composition is much more expansive and impactful than the original, evoking a vision of the artist's wife as an embodiment of universal harmony and well-being.

The final plaster model was included in Lachaise’s retrospective exhibition in early 1935 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Lachaise passed away shortly afterward in October of that year, and no bronze casts of Relief (Woman) were produced until decades later when the Lachaise Foundation issued a series of eight numbered casts on behalf of the artist's estate. Six of these were produced between about 1974 and 2012, including the present example as the third. The second, cast in 1993, is owned by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri; the fourth, cast in 2003, belongs to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts; and the sixth, cast in 2012 and selectively gilded, is owned by the Lachaise Foundation, New York. The Lachaise Foundation also owns the plaster model of Relief (Woman) and has assigned the identification number LF 128 to the work.

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