Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966)
Property from the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Sold to Benefit the Acquisitions Fund The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, is Israel’s foremost cultural institution and one of the world’s leading encyclopedic museums. Founded in 1965, the Museum has built a far-ranging collection of nearly 500,000 objects from archaeology to contemporary art through an unparalleled legacy of gifts and support from its circle of Patrons and Friends Associations from seventeen countries. The Museum embraces a dynamic exhibition program, and a rich annual program of publications, educational activities, and special cultural events. In its 2018 season, the Israel Museum is presenting a series of exhibitions showcasing some of the most acclaimed visual artists, designers, and fashion innovators working in Israel today. From solo exhibitions that introduce audiences to new bodies of work by local artists Zoya Cherkassky, Oren Eliav, and Gil Marco Shani, to Fashion Statement: A Century of Fashion in Israel, this season extends the Museum’s commitment to providing a platform for the country’s breadth of creative expression. Culminating the exhibition lineup is a major retrospective on French artist Christian Boltanski, spanning over three decades of the artist’s career. Major traveling exhibitions organized by the Israel Museum in 2018 include No Place Like Home, The Berardo Collection Museum, Lisbon; Duchamp Magritte Dalí. Revolutionaries of the 20th Century: Masterpieces from The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Palacio Gaviria, Madrid; The Miracle of M.C. Escher: Prints from The Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, and Abeno Harikas Art Museum, Osaka; Veiled Meanings: Fashioning Jewish Dress from The Collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, The Jewish Museum, New York, and The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco; and Chagall Love and life, from the collection of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Hangaram Art Museum, Seoul, South Korea. From its inception, the Israel Museum was conceived as a dynamic and modular museum, designed to encourage the growth and diversification of its holdings over time. In keeping with the principles of good collection management, the Museum continually reviews and evaluates its holdings with an eye towards identifying areas of duplication or lacunae. In line with this rigorous policy and following careful review, the Museum has identified a select group of artworks for deaccession from its broad holdings of Modern Art. All proceeds from the sale of these works will be directed back into the Acquisitions Fund for the Department of Modern Art with the goal of making strategic additions over time that will strengthen and enhance the diversity and scope of the Department’s core collection. We greatly appreciate the foresight of our patrons, enabling us to achieve this goal. Property from the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Sold to Benefit the Acquisitions Fund Selections from the Arthur and Madeleine Chalette Lejwa Collection Arthur and Madeleine Chalette Lejwa sought to conjoin their concern for the Jewish people and the State of Israel with their passion for the arts. The Lejwas had the imagination to look beyond the barbed wires and remnants of the 1967 Six Day War in Jerusalem, envisioning public parks and outdoor sculpture gardens in place of the city’s concrete barriers. With their art donations, financial support, and friendship with Mayor of Jerusalem, Teddy Kollek, the Lejwas were integral to the actualization and creation of the Israel Museum. Their aesthetic taste ranged from Classical Archaeology to American and European Modern Art. Upon their death, their entire collection was bequeathed to the Israel Museum. Madeleine Chalette Lejwa opened Chalette Parfums in New York in 1944, which thrived as a fine fragrance shop for a decade. The boutique was later repurposed as Galerie Chalette, an art gallery, founded by the Lejwas in early 1954. In 1957, the gallery moved from 45 West 57th Street to 1100 Madison Avenue and six years later, they purchased a brownstone at 9 East 88th Street, utilizing its ground floor as exhibition space. In fewer than ten years, the Lejwas consolidated their importance among the rarified community of New York dealers. Their penchant for Constructivist Art distinguished them from the others, as did their eclectic taste. They prided themselves on championing new artists, becoming friends with many of them, in addition to those who were more established. Between 1954 and 1958, the gallery presented Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Edgar Degas, and Wassily Kandinsky, with Leon Polk Smith and Polish painter and optical illusionist Wojciech Fangor each presenting multiple solo exhibitions up to 1970. The gallery was known for its inspired curatorship, including Eleven British Sculptors in 1956—a grouping of abstract artists hitherto unknown to American audiences—and Sculpture by Painters, a 1958 collaboration with French gallerist Denise René. The relationship with Madame René helped the Lejwas organize what was arguably their most ambitious exhibition: Construction and Geometry in Painting: From Malevitch to “Tomorrow.” Uniting fifty artists from seventeen countries, the show opened in New York on March 31, 1960, touring for over a year thereafter to Cincinnati, Chicago, Minneapolis, and San Francisco. The Lejwas were deeply committed to the art of Jean Arp. Beginning in 1960, with an exhibition of Jean Arp and Sophie Tauber-Arp, the Lejwas continued to champion his work for the rest of their lives. “Not content merely to exhibit Arp, Madeleine and Arthur began to give him away.” They gifted his monumental stainless steel sculpture The Threshold of Jerusalem to that city in 1971. “In December, they gave to the Metropolitan Museum of Art thirty-nine Arp sculptures out of an edition of 300, entitled ‘Threshold Configuration.’ The income derived from the sale of the entire edition went to the establishment of the ‘Arthur Lejwa Fund in Honor of Jean Arp,’ to support exhibitions and acquisitions in the Metropolitan’s department of twentieth-century art” (V.S. Komor in R. Apter-Gabriel, ed., The Arthur and Madeleine Chalette Lejwa Collection in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2005, p. 24). They donated the sculpture Oriforme to the National Gallery in Washington D.C. and upon their deaths bequeathed their vast collection of works by the artist to the Israel Museum. Christie’s is honored to present the following selection of works from the Arthur and Madeleine Chalette Lejwa Collection, sold to benefit future acquisitions of Modern Art at the Israel Museum.
Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966)


Jean (Hans) Arp (1886-1966)
inscribed with monogram and foundry mark and numbered '0/3 Susse Fondeur Paris' (on the underside)
polished bronze
Height: 38 7/8 in. (98.8 cm.)
Conceived in 1961 and cast in June 1970
Marguerite Hagenbach-Arp, Clamart (wife of the artist).
Arthur and Madeleine Chalette Lejwa, New York (acquired from the above, November 1971).
Bequest from the above to the present owner, 1999.
H. Read, Arp, London, 1968, p. 148, no. 175 (small bronze version illustrated in color, p. 149).
E. Trier, intro., Jean Arp, Sculpture: His Last Ten Years, New York, 1968, p. 113, no. 212a (another cast illustrated, p. 112; marble version illustrated, no. 212).
I. Jianou, Jean Arp, Paris, 1973, p. 77, no. 212a (marble version illustrated, pl. 39).
R. Apter-Gabriel, ed., The Arthur and Madeleine Chalette Lejwa Collection in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 2005, p. 237, no. 118 (illustrated in color; illustrated again in color in situ in the Lejwas' home, p. 34).
A. Hartog and K. Fischer, eds., Hans Arp: Sculptures, A Critical Survey, Ostfildern, 2012, p. 332, no. 212a (marble version illustrated).
Milan, Galleria del Naviglio, Jean Arp: 1912-1965, June-July 1971, no. 37 (dated 1960).
New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jean Arp: From the Collections of Mme Marguerite Arp and Arthur and Madeleine Lejwa, April-September 1972, no. 17 (illustrated in color).
Pittsburgh, Carnegie Institute, Museum of Art; Utica, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute; Seattle Art Museum; San Francisco Museum of Art; Cincinnati Art Museum; Denver Art Museum; Adelaide, Art Gallery of South Australia; Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales; Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria; Brisbane, Queensland Art Gallery; Launceston, Tasmania, Queen Victoria Museum; Perth, Western Australian Art Gallery; Austin, University Art Museum and Sarasota, Ringling Museum, Jean Arp: Sculpture, Reliefs, Works on Paper––An Exhibition Organized by Madeleine Chalette Lejwa, February 1975-January 1979, no. 31.
New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Jean Arp, July-August 1976, p. 21, no. 22.
Jerusalem, The Israel Museum, From Far and Wide: A Taste of the Lejwa Collection, May-August 2005.

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Lot Essay

We thank the Fondation Arp, Clamart, for their help cataloguing this work.

“Any work of art that is not rooted in myth and poetry”—Jean Arp declared—“or that does not partake of the depth and essence of the universe is merely a ghost” (quoted in “The Inner Language,” M. Jean, ed., Jean Arp, Collected French Writings, London, 1974, p. 292).

Conceived during the final decade of the artist’s half-century-long career, Déméter is a consummation of his dedication to the plastic representation of biomorphic and human form. Arp expresses in his sculpture the sensual, fruitful essence of the eternal feminine, interpreted through an evocation of the goddess of fertility and agriculture in Greek mythology, known as Ceres to the Romans. Worshipped as a primal earth-mother, Demeter held sway over the natural cycles of birth, growth, and regeneration; her powers and beneficence were celebrated in festivals at harvest time throughout the ancient world.
Arp conceived his vision of Demeter in rounded maternal forms; the swelling volumes in her furrow-like, hill and vale lap suggest abundant earthly fertility. The goddess’s protective devotion to her children was preserved in myth. After Hades, god of the underworld, had abducted and hidden away her daughter Persephone, Demeter wandered the world for a year, seeking the girl—the goddess’s sorrow caused crops to languish and fail. Mighty Zeus interceded and obtained Persephone’s release; however, because she had partaken of pomegranate seeds, the food of the dead, Hades was permitted to reclaim her for three months each year. During this time, while Demeter lamented her daughter’s absence, the earth turned barren and cold. Persephone’s re-emergence each spring announced the renewal of the yearly growth cycle. Ancient agrarian cultures thus understood the procession of the seasons.
Themes of “genesis, birth, and blossoming” (ibid.) held special significance for Arp in 1960. He had recently married his longtime friend and collaborator Marguerite Hagenbach. She had become the artist’s living, abiding Demeter, the earth and fertility goddess also turned muse, who nurtured and sustained his art.
Other casts of the present sculpture are in The Didrichsen Art Museum, Helsinki and Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund. Plaster versions of this sculpture are in The Detroit Institute of Arts; Musée national d'art moderne, Paris and Stiftung Hans Arp und Sophie Taeuber-Arp.

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