The work of Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Alexander Archipenko and Antoine Pevsner reflects the extraordinary dynamism of early 20th century sculpture in the wake of Auguste Rodin’s radical – and dominant – half-century. Kleine Sinnende, The Queen of Sheba and Construction spatiale aux troisième et quatrième dimensions are from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, founded by the German industrialist August Thyssen (1842–1926), a personal friend of Rodin. Thyssen’s son and grandson went on to expand the family’s collection – Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (1875–1947) added masterworks of the Northern Renaissance as well as Italian, French and English Old Masters, and Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (1921–2002) looked to the late-19th and 20th centuries. Initially concentrating on the German Expressionists, Hans Heinrich broadened his focus to encompass the variety these decades offered: Impressionism and Cubism, the Russian avant-garde, British post-war art, Pop, Hyperrealism and 19th century North American painting.
Lehmbruck's Kleine Sinnende, 1910, shows the influence of Rodin and also that of key figures of the pre-war avant-garde with whom the artist came into contact when he moved to Paris in the same year. After meeting Maillol, Derain, Brâncuși and Archipenko, Lehmbruck moved to a personal, classical style, softening and elongating his figures like Maillol. Archipenko’s The Queen of Sheba
Pevsner’s Construction spatiale aux troisième et quatrième dimensions