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Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)
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Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)

Standing Woman [LF 92]

Details
Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935)
Standing Woman [LF 92]
inscribed 'C LACHAISE/32' (on the base)--stamped 'LACHAISE/ESTATE', '4/6', 'MODERN ART FOUNDRY/NEW YORK' and '93' with Modern Art Foundry and Founder's Guild insignias (along the base)
bronze with brownish-black patina
87 in. (221 cm.) high
Modeled in 1928-30; copyrighted in 1932; cast in 1993.
Provenance
The Lachaise Foundation, Boston, Massachusetts.
[With]Salander O'Reilly Galleries, LLC, New York, by 1994.
Acquired by the late owner from the above, 1995.
Literature
A.H. Mayor, "Gaston Lachaise," Hound & Horn, vol. 5, no. 4, July-September 1932, f.p. 564, the plaster model illustrated.
Museum of Modern Art, Gaston Lachaise: Retrospective Exhibition, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1935, p. 16, no. 39, another example illustrated.
E.A. Jewell, "American Art Seen in 2 Shows: Work of Lachaise, Sculptor, and Bingham, Painter, at Museum of Modern Art," The New York Times, January 29, 1935, p. 19, another example referenced.
E. Genaur, "Sculptors Incite Art Controversies: Gaston Lachaise Works Chief Storm Center in Week's Shows," New York World-Telegram, February 2, 1935, p. 26, another example referenced.
“Gaston Lachaise, Heroic Sculpture,” Country Life, vol. 68, no. 1, May 1935, p. 18, another example illustrated (as Woman).
W. Ames, “Gaston Lachaise, 1882-1935,” Parnassus, vol. 8, no. 3, March 1936, pp. 6, 31, another example illustrated.
W. Ames, “Gaston Lachaise,” Parnassus, vol. 8, no. 4, April 1936, pp. 41-42, another example referenced.
“Sculpture of Our Time,” The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, vol. 24, no. 9, November 1937, p. 137, another example referenced.
M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., Gaston Lachaise, 18821935, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1947, pp. 4, 17, no. 32, the plaster model referenced (as Heroic Woman).
E.A. Jewell, “Gallery Displays Work by Lachaise,” The New York Times, January 21, 1947, p. 21, the plaster model referenced (as Heroic Woman).
E.A. Jewell, “Gaston Lachaise,” The New York Times, January 26, 1947, p. X9, the plaster model referenced (as Heroic Woman).
A.H. Barr Jr., Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1948, pp. 255, 312, another example illustrated.
Museum of Modern Art, Sculpture of the Twentieth Century, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1952, p. 43, no. 52, another example referenced.
A.C. Ritchie, Sculpture of the Twentieth Century, New York, 1952, pp. 101-02, 228, another example illustrated (as Standing Woman and Woman).
A.H. Barr Jr., Masters of Modern Art, New York, 1954, pp. 2, 109, another example illustrated.
Museum of Modern Art, Stati Uniti d'America: 2 pittori, de Kooning, Shahn, 3 scultori, Lachaise, Lassaw, Smith, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1954, n.p., no. 64, another example illustrated (as Donna in piedi).
Musée d’art modern, 50 ans dart aux États-Unis: collections du Museum of Modern Art de New York, exhibition catalogue, Paris, France, 1955, p. 47, no. 117, pl. 33, another example illustrated (as Femme debout).
Modern Art in the United States, exhibition catalogue, London, 1956, pp. 26, 38, no. 117, another example referenced.
Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art: A Catalogue, New York, 1958, p. 35, another example as cover illustration.
American Painting and Sculpture, exhibition catalogue, Detroit, Michigan, 1959, n.p., no. 51, another example referenced.
“Moscow to see Modern U.S. Art: Cross-Section of Printing and Sculpture, ’18 to Now, to Go on View in Summer,” The New York Times, May 31, 1959, p. 60, another example referenced.
“Statue Restored After Journey,” The New York Times, November 1, 1959, p. 22, another example illustrated.
D.B. Goodall, “Gaston Lachaise, 1882-1935,” The Massachusetts Review, vol. 1, no. 4, Summer 1960, pp. 676, 682-83, 686, another example illustrated.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gaston Lachaise, 18821935: Sculpture and Drawings, exhibition catalogue, Los Angeles, California, 1963, n.p., no. 92, another example illustrated.
G. Nordland, “Gaston Lachaise,” Artforum, vol. 2, no. 6, December 1963, p. 29, another example referenced (as Heroic Woman).
Musée Rodin, Etats-Unis, sculptures du XXe siècle, exhibition catalogue, Paris, France, 1965, n.p., no. 27, another example illustrated (as Femme debout).
H. Kramer, The Sculpture of Gaston Lachaise, New York, 1967, pp. 12-14, 49, nos. 74-76, another example illustrated.
D.B. Goodall, "Gaston Lachaise: Sculptor," Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1969, vol. 1, pp. 106-07, 130, 141n.13, 207, 251n.59, 343, 408n.49, 565-75, 576, 594, 657n.6, 658n.8, 658-59n.9, 659n.13, 660n.16, 660-61n.17; vol. 2, pp. 299-303, 417, plates CXXX [sic: CXXXIII] A-B, another example illustrated (as Femme debout [Standing Woman]; Standing Woman).
H. Kramer, The Age of the Avant-Garde: An Art Chronicle of 1956-1972, New York, 1973, p. 271, another example referenced.
Gaston Lachaise, 1882-1935, exhibition catalogue, Ithaca, New York, 1974, n.p., another example referenced.
G. Nordland, Gaston Lachaise: The Man and His Work, New York, 1974, pp. 81-82, no. 22, another example as cover illustration (as Standing Woman [Heroic Woman]).
W. Craven, "Review of Gaston Lachaise: The Man and His Work by G. Nordland," The Art Bulletin, vol. 58, no. 1, March 1976, p. 143, another example referenced (as “Standing or Heroic Woman”).
J. Lipman, Bright Stars: American Painting and Sculpture since 1776, New York, 1976, pp. 124-25, another example illustrated.
C.J. McCabe, The Golden Door: Artist-Immigrants of America, 1876-1976, exhibition catalogue, Washington, D.C., 1976, p. 139, another example illustrated (as Standing Woman [Heroic Woman]).
A.H. Barr Jr., Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art, 1929-1967, New York, 1977, pp. 253, 557, 636, another example illustrated.
C.S. Murray, “At UCLA: Gallery in a Garden,” Los Angeles Times, May 6, 1979, p. U26, another example illustrated.
P. Sims, Gaston Lachaise: A Concentration of Works from the Permanent Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1980, pp. 11-12, another example illustrated.
“Hirshhorn Adds Major Works,” The New York Times, January 9, 1981, p. C33, another example referenced (as Standing Woman [Heroic Woman]).
P. Richard, “$2 Million in Art for Hirshhorn,” The Washington Post, January 9, 1981, p. E9, another example referenced (as Standing Woman [Heroic Woman]).
“Miró and Lachaise Join the Hirshhorn,” The ARTnewsletter, vol. 6, no. 12, February 3, 1981, p. 8, another example referenced (as Standing Woman [Heroic Woman]).
S.D. Ripley, “The View from the Castle,” Smithsonian, vol. 12, no. 1, April 1981, p. 12, another example referenced (as Standing Woman [Heroic Woman]).
H.B. Chipp, Gaston Lachaise 100th Anniversary Exhibition, exhibition catalogue, Palm Springs, California, 1982, p. 19, another example referenced (as Standing Woman [Heroic Woman]).
P. Richard, "Bargains in the Works: At the Hirshhorn, Ecclectic Purchases," The Washington Post, September 15, 1982, p. E13, another example referenced.
“MoMA Sculpture on Loan during Expansion,” MoMA, no. 21, Winter 1982, p. 3, another example referenced.
E. Park, Treasures of the Smithsonian, exhibition catalogue, Washington, D.C., 1983, pp. 222-23, another example referenced (as Heroic Woman).
J.A. Allen, “Hirshhorn Purchases: Bargains on Display,” The Washington Times, September 16, 1983, another example referenced.
The Torch: A Monthly Newspaper for the Smithsonian Institution, no. 84-10, October 1984, p. 2, another example illustrated.
R. Goldstein, ed., Guide to the Permanent Collection, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1986, p. 180, another example illustrated.
J. Hobhouse, The Bride Stripped Bare: The Artist and The Female Nude in the Twentieth Century, New York, 1988, pp. 192, 194-95, pl. 164, another example illustrated.
A. Legg, M.B. Smalley, Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art: A Catalogue, New York, 1988, p. 65, another example referenced.
J. Auer, “Sunday Stroll,” The Milwaukee Journal, April 3, 1988, Special Section, p. 13, another example illustrated.
A.A. Berger, Seeing is Believing: An Introduction to Visual Communication, Mountain View, California, 1989, pp. 22, 183, fig. 1.6, another example illustrated (as Standing Woman [Heroic Woman]).
The Play of the Unmentionable: An Installation by Joseph Kosuth at The Brooklyn Museum, New York, 1992, pp. 5, 98.
C. Burlingham, et al., In the Sculptor's Landscape: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden, Los Angeles, California, 1993, pp. 54-55, 56, pl. 6, another example referenced.
S. Hunter, D. Finn, Gaston Lachaise, New York, 1993, pp. 2, 51, 160-61, 244, another example illustrated.
The White House, Twentieth Century American Sculpture at the White House, exhibition catalogue, Washington, D.C., 1994, n.p., another example illustrated.
A.B. Morgan, “Gaston Lachaise: The Monumental Sculpture,” American Art Review, vol. 7, no. 5, October-November 1995, p. 119, another example illustrated (as Standing Woman [Heroic Woman]).
J. McCallister, ed., Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden: 150 Works of Art, Washington, D.C., 1996, pp. 56-57, 165, another example illustrated.
J. Paterson, “Stop and See the Sculpture,” The Washington Post, August 15, 1997, Weekend Section, p. 8, another example illustrated.
V.J. Fletcher, A Garden for Art: Outdoor Sculpture at the Hirshorn, Washington, D.C., 1998, pp. 6-7, 34, 45, fig. 32, no. 9, another example illustrated.
D. Sobel, From Figure to Floor: Sculpture in the 20th Century from the Collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1998, pp. 25, 67, no. 34, another example illustrated.
MoMA Highlights: 325 Works from the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1999, p. 167, another example illustrated.
D. Finn, B.C. Monkman, Twentieth-century American Sculpture in the White House Garden, New York, 2000, pp. 30, 132, another example referenced.
G. Gregg, "The Unconventional Convention," ARTnews, vol. 99, no. 4, April 2000, p. 184, another example illustrated.
F. Schulze, Building a Masterpiece: Milwaukee Art Museum, New York, 2001, pp. 132-33, 142, another example illustrated.
Gaston Lachaise, 1882-1935, exhibition catalogue, New York, 2003, pp. 13, 194, no. 194, pl. 4, another example illustrated (as Femme debout [Standing Woman]).
V. Budny, "Gaston Lachaise’s American Venus: The Genesis and Evolution of Elevation," The American Art Journal, vols. 34-35, 2003-2004, pp. 130-31n.1, another example referenced.
D. Ngo, ed., Art + Architecture: The Ebsworth Collection + Residence, San Francisco, California, 2006, n.p., illustrated.
C. Burlingham, et al., The Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, 2007, pp. 46, 58, 62n.26, 110, another example illustrated (as Standing Woman [Heroic Woman]).
P. Reed, A Modern Garden: The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2007, pp. 19, 62, another example referenced.
G.D. Lowry, The Museum of Modern Art in this Century, New York, 2009, pp. 21, 45, another example illustrated.
Bruce Museum, Face & Figure: The Sculpture of Gaston Lachaise, exhibition catalogue, Greenwich, Connecticut, 2012, pp. 10-11, 82, no. 1, other examples illustrated.
Gerald Peters Gallery, Works by Gaston Lachaise: A Modern Epic Vision, exhibition catalogue, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2012, n.p., fig. 10, another example illustrated.
H. Cotter, “The World Meets in Brooklyn,” The New York Times, April 20, 2012, pp. C27, C31, another example illustrated.
S. Hodara, “In His Sculptures, Vitality: In His Portraits, Precision,” The New York Times, September 30, 2012, p. CT11, another example referenced (as Standing Woman [Heroic Woman]).
S. Hamill, David Smith in Two Dimensions: Photography and the Matter of Sculpture, New York, 2013, pp. 63, 197n.20, another example referenced.
V. Budny, “Provocative Extremes: Gaston Lachaise’s Women,” Sculpture Review, vol. 63, no. 2, Summer 2014, pp. 11-13, 16-19nn.5-8, another example illustrated.
Exhibited
New York, Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, LLC; Roslyn Harbor, New York, Nassau County Museum of Art, Gaston Lachaise: The Monumental Sculpture, April 13-September 17, 1995, n.p., no. 4, illustrated.
Special notice

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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.

There are nine bronze casts of Gaston Lachaise’s Standing Woman [LF 92]. The only example cast during the artist’s lifetime is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. A second bronze was issued by Lachaise’s widow and sold in 1957 to The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York. In 1968, a further edition of six, including the present example, was authorized by the Lachaise Foundation as the representative of the artist’s estate. Other casts are in the collections of the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden, University of California, Los Angeles (cast in 1980); Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (cast in 1980); Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (cast in 1981), and the Lachaise Foundation, New York (cast in 2000, on loan to the Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon). Finally, an artist’s proof was issued by the Lachaise Foundation in 2007 (on loan to the Tuileries Garden, Paris, France). All but the first cast were produced by the Modern Art Foundry, New York. In addition, a plaster cast of the entire statue is owned by the Lachaise Foundation, and a plaster cast of the torso and arms—likely a by-product of the initial bronze-casting process—has been part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art since 1934.

Already considered in the early 1920s to be one of America’s best living sculptors by some cognoscenti, Gaston Lachaise had burst onto the New York art scene in 1918 with his first solo exhibition at the Bourgeois Galleries, in which a plaster cast of his larger-than-life Standing Woman (Elevation) [LF 55], a statue of a voluptuous nude raised up on her toes, was first presented. That show was followed by a series of exhibitions at prominent New York galleries, culminating in 1935 with the first retrospective accorded to a living sculptor by the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Lachaise’s sculptures exhibit his profound understanding of sculptural principles and a mastery of technique far beyond the abilities of many American sculptors who were his contemporaries. They realize his passionate desire to express his own personal vision of America’s vast power and enormous capacity for growth in his art. Often considered challenging because of the unusually robust figure types that he created, and the intensity of their impact on the viewer, his works have remained both compelling and meaningful up to the present time. Standing Woman [LF 92], one of his most significant achievements, has become an icon of American art, and in the years since the first bronze copy was produced in the early 1930s, examples of the work have traveled widely both within and outside the United States.

It was in 1928, when, buoyed by the success of an acclaimed exhibition of his sculpture at the prestigious Brummer Gallery, New York, in which two heroic statues—Standing Woman (Elevation) [LF 55] (1912-15, bronze) and Floating Woman [LF 63] (1927, plaster)—dramatically faced each other across the room, Lachaise began work on full-scale models for two more heroic nude statues envisioned by him as complementary archetypes. These were to become Standing Woman [LF 92] (1928-30) and Man [LF 85] (1928-34). At an early stage of his work on these new models, he described his intentions in a July 24, 1928 letter to his friend and dealer Alfred Stieglitz: “I am working at present at a large standing figure, a woman, on earth this time—vigorously and gloriously for all her share of what is good… I will… start the figure of ‘Man’ also on earth, for all that is gloriously good to live and go through” (G. Lachaise, cited in V. Budny, “Provocative Extremes: Gaston Lachaise’s Women,” Sculpture Review, vol. 63, no. 2, Summer 2014, pp. 12, 16-19n.6).

Like Standing Woman (Elevation) and Floating Woman, the present model was inspired by his supremely self-confident American wife, Isabel Dutaud Nagle. Born in Paris, France, he had met Isabel there when he was about twenty years of age and followed her to her native America in 1906, becoming a naturalized citizen and marrying her in 1917. He viewed Isabel not only as the epitome of the modern “American Woman” but also as an exemplar of the phenomenal energy that he felt all around him in his adopted country.

Standing Woman thus appears to have been conceived by Lachaise as a direct response to the uplifted, inspired “Woman” on tiptoes and her later celestial manifestation in the two statues splendidly displayed under the Brummer Gallery’s skylight. With the present version having a coequal in Man, Lachaise also made a decision to bring his paragon firmly down to earth and into a dynamic alliance with her male counterpart. Further, in Standing Woman, he dramatically contrasts the imposing nude’s narrow waist with her expansive breasts and hips even more insistently than in those earlier works, so that—like a tightly compressed balloon—she seems to contain a potentially explosive force indicative of immense personal strength.

Both Standing Woman and Man were cast in plaster in 1930, and Man was included at Lachaise’s insistence in a group show at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in December 1930. Money was finally forthcoming in early October
1932 to cast Standing Woman in bronze, and the plaster was shipped off to a first-rate foundry in Munich (Preissmann, Bauer u. Co.) by the 19th of the same month. The bronze cast was eventually returned to Lachaise in April 1934, and he completed the chasing process in the following month. The cast was featured in his retrospective in early 1935 at the Museum of Modern Art, and in 1948 it was purchased for that museum, where it stood as a world-renowned feature of the museum’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden for many years, until the garden was closed in 2002. Man in plaster, somewhat reworked, was also included in Lachaise’s 1935 retrospective. A bronze version of Man, cast osthumously in 1938, is now owned by the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia.

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