Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967)
Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967)
Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967)
2 More
Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967)
5 More
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967)

Tête d'homme

Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967)
Tête d'homme
signed 'O ZADKINE' (on the left side)
carved wood
Height: 12 5/8 in. (32.2 cm.)
Carved in 1928; this work is unique
Bernard Davis, La France Art Institute, Philadelphia, by 1929.
Private Collection, Boca Raton, Florida.
Rachel Adler Fine Art, Caracas.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
The artist's handlist.
A. de Ridder, Zadkine, Paris, 1929, no. 18 (illustrated).
I. Jianou, Zadkine, Paris, 1964, p. 86 (dated '1927').
I. Jianou, Zadkine, Paris, 1979, no. 151, p. 70 (dated '1927').
S. Lecombre, Ossip Zadkine, L'œuvre sculpté, Paris, 1994, no. 206, p. 251 (illustrated).
Chicago, The Arts Club of Chicago, Sculpture by Zadkine, January 1931, no. 17.
Brussels, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Zadkine, January 1933.
Curaçao, The Curaçao Museum, Zadkine, 1952.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
Sale room notice
Please note this lot incorporates material from endangered species which could result in export restrictions. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.

Brought to you by

Ottavia Marchitelli
Ottavia Marchitelli

Lot Essay

In 1909, Zadkine left Belarus and his home town of Vitebsk to settle in Paris. There, he made a natural connection with the magnetic milieu of emigrant artists, following the example of Amedeo Modigliani, Jacques Lipchitz and Alexander Archipenko. In the years following the First World War, many artists sought to escape the brutality of their time and return to classical sources in their work. Greek and Roman statuary – a fortiori the motif of the head – was considered the height of refinement and beauty at the time, and became a preferred theme for avant-garde sculptors.

Although Ossip Zadkine's majestic te d'homme from 1928 was crafted in keeping with the classical canon, it also shows signs of this modernist style and constitutes one of the artist's most remarkable works from which emanates an elegance marked by the desire to revive the human spirit. In the present work, carved directly by hand, Zadkine appears to free himself from the severity associated with the intensely academic Cubist style which the artist felt did not leave enough room for human emotion. While some of the codes of Cubism's streamlined geometry can still be seen in the daring shaping of the nose and curve of the eyes, te d'homme primarily exudes a striking expressiveness more akin to the directness of the tribal art which remains the root of the movement's original inception, the medium enhancing the spontaneity with the handmade and organic qualities of its production. In his direct carving of the wood, Zadkine further recalls Amedeo Modigliani's characteristic stylisation, evoked here by the almond-shaped eyes of the model and the imposing nature of the neck.

While the two artists shared the same passion for woodwork and for the beauty and elegance of archaic forms, Zadkine's penchant for wood and the intimate link with nature began from his childhood spent on the banks of the Dnieper and near the forests of Russia, where his maternal uncle introduced him to the techniques of carving. The memory of the tree is apparent in te d'homme, preserved by the sculptor's gestures: at its base, the artist has left the trunk visible, and the majestic character of the bust, with its verticality, brings to mind the forest and the eternal presence of nature which, as with art, survives beyond mortal humanity.

More from Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

View All
View All