Gaston Lachaise (French/American, 1882-1935)
Two Figural Studies: Standing Nude and Nude from Rear
Signed "C. Lachaise" l.r., with labels from M. Knoedler & Co., New York,
on the frame backing papers.
Colored pencil on paper, sight sizes 11 x 5 1/2 in. (27.9 x 13.9 cm), framed.
Condition: Creases, minor spotting, and discoloration.
N.B. Gaston Lachaise's Standing Nude and Nude from Rear were each made on a sheet of handmade paper from a tablet obtained in Chinatown, within walking distance of his New York studio, and both drawings exhibit his aim to achieve new, modern ways of describing the female body. In Standing Nude, the rich yet simplified forms of the woman's body-treated as quasi-geometric units-compare with those of the similarly posed woman in Woman (Hesitation) (LF 27), a statuette Lachaise created in 1919 and first cast in bronze in 1921 (illustrated in V. Budny, "Gaston Lachaise's American Venus: The Genesis and Evolution of Elevation," The American Art Journal, vols. 34-35 [2003-2004], p. 145, Fig. 43). The drawing was consigned by Lachaise's widow in 1947 to M. Knoedler & Co., which represented the artist's estate from 1946 until 1955.
Nude from Rear, a sketch of a lightly draped woman ascending stairs on tiptoe, also with the Knoedler Gallery at one time, gives insight into Lachaise's artistic process: here, with only a few playful lines, he captured the essence of the woman's posture. The drawing compares, for example, with Female Nude, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, acc. no. 1972:7.3 (http://www.albrightknox.org/collection/search/piece:687/). In the latter drawing, the figure of the step-climbing woman is more completely developed, yet the underlying motive is the same.
We are grateful to Virginia Budny for her assistance in preparing the catalogue entry for this work.
Both with Knoedler labels, one with title "Nude from Rear, Purple & Green", #13205, the other no title, #13204.
The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.