Lipchitz Jacques
Pseudonyms,autonyms and aliases: Khaim-Yakob 1891–1973

LIPCHITZ Jacques (Chaim Jacob)

August 22, 1891 (Druskininkai, Grodno province) — May 16, 1973 (Capri)


Jacques Lipchitz was born to family of private entrepreneur. In 1895–1899 he studied at heder, in 1902–1906 — at commercial school in Bialystok, in 1906–1909 — at the Higher School in Vilno. Lipchitz became interested in art. In 1909 Lipchitz moved to Paris, where he attended the École des Beaux-Arts, the studio of Jean-Antoine Ingalbert, and the private academies of R. Julien and F. Colarossi. In 1911 he made a trip to St. Petersburg, where he studied the collections of the State Hermitage Museum.

Since 1911 Lipchitz lived in Paris. He rented a little studio at Montparnasse, met a lot of figures of Paris art life, such as P. Picasso, A. Modigliani, D. Rivera, J. Gris, and Ch. Soutine. In 1912 he exhibited his works at the National Salon of Fine Arts and at the Autumn Salon. In 1916 married the poetess Berthe Kitrosser.

In 1920 the first personal exhibition of Lipchitz was held in the gallery of Léonce Rosenberg; the famous art critic Maurice Raynal wrote an article for the catalogue of the exhibition. This exhibition was a great success, and brought fame to the artist.

In 1920s–1930s Lipchitz sympathized with the Soviet power; he was a member of the group of Russian artists Udar (“Stroke”) and the Association des Écrivains et Artistes Révolutionnaires (AEAR). In 1928 he exhibited his works at the exhibition The Modern French Art in Moscow.

Since 1925 Lipchitz lived in Boulogne-sur-Seine. In 1935 the retrospective exhibition of works by the artist was held at Brummer Gallery in New York.

With Nazi occupation of France, Lipchitz left Paris for New York; since 1947 he lived in Hastings-on-Hudson, suburb of New York.

In 1940s the personal exhibitions of Lipchitz were often held in the galleries Buchholz and Valentin. In 1946 the sculptor was awarded the Legion of Honor. In 1954 the personal exhibition of works by the artist was organised in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in 1958 — at the Tate Gallery in London.

In 1930s–1950s Lipchitz created monumental works with scenes from mythology and the Bible: Hercules (1933), David and Goliath (1934), Prometheus (1936–1937), The Rape of Europa (1943–1944), Prometheus Fighting with Eagle (1943–1944), Mother of God in Flame (1953) and others. In 1960s the sculptor worked with small forms, created a cycle of fantastical figures in bronze. He was also engaged in monumental sculpture. The most significant late works of the sculptor are The Tree of Life (1963), Between Heaven and Earth (1964), the monument to John Kennedy (1965), Bellerophon Taming Pegasus (1972). Jacques Lipchitz was elected Honoured Doctor of the Brandeis University, Columbia and Tel Aviv Universities; he was awarded gold medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The sculptor was buried in Jerusalem.

Jacques Lipchitz is one of the most significant sculptors of the 20th century. His early works of 1910s were created in classical style. In the mid-1910s, under the influence of his friends, Lipchitz became interested in plastic art close to cubism. In the beginning of the 1930s the cubic manner gave place to expressive deformations of nature; the artist’s tendency to synthesis and simplification changed into emotional figurativeness.

Works by Jacques Lipchitz are in many museum collections all over the world, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice, the Kunstmuseum Basel, the Tate Gallery in London and many others.

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