Elie Nadelman (1882-1946) Head of a Man in a Top Hat 18in high on a 7 1/4in marble base (Modeled by 1914, cast in 1982-83.)
Lot 19
Elie Nadelman
(1882-1946)
Head of a Man in a Top Hat 18in high on a 7 1/4in marble base
US$ 60,000 - 80,000
£ 45,000 - 60,000

American Art

23 May 2018, 14:00 EDT

New York

Lot Details
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF MR. MICHAEL HALL, NEW YORK
Elie Nadelman (1882-1946) Head of a Man in a Top Hat 18in high on a 7 1/4in marble base (Modeled by 1914, cast in 1982-83.) Elie Nadelman (1882-1946) Head of a Man in a Top Hat 18in high on a 7 1/4in marble base (Modeled by 1914, cast in 1982-83.)
Elie Nadelman (1882-1946)
Head of a Man in a Top Hat
inscribed 'Eli Nadelman' (along the base), numbered '5/8,' stamped with conjoined initials of the Modern Art Foundry 'MA' and stamped with the symbol of the Art Founders Guild (beneath the neck)
polished bronze
18in high on a 7 1/4in marble base
Modeled by 1914, cast in 1982-83.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Acquired by the present owner, 1982-83.

    Literature
    L. Kirstein, Elie Nadelman, New York, 1973, p. 293, no. 67.

    The present work is a posthumous cast produced by the present owner and Lincoln Kirstein, in 1982-83, at Modern Art Foundry, New York. This bronze is one among an edition of eight casts. No known editions of this model were produced in bronze during the artist's lifetime. The plaster from which the present work was made is now in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California.

    While living in Paris from 1904 through 1914, Elie Nadelman became acquainted with many prominent figures of the modern art movement including Pablo Picasso, Constantine Brancusi, and Leo and Gertrude Stein. Nadelman likely brought the plaster model for Head of a Man in a Top Hat back to the United States from Paris. According to Lincoln Kirstein, this plaster model served as the prototype for the painted brass Man in a Top Hat, circa 1920-24, which is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. (L. Kirstein , Elie Nadelman, New York, 1973, p. 293)

    In a 1914 review by Guillaume Apollinaire of the artist's second solo exhibition in Paris, he wrote of the plaster version of the present work that it was one of the "first works in which a piece of modern clothing has been treated in an artistic manner." (G. Apollinaire, Apollinaire on Art: Essays and Reviews, 1902-1918, New York, 1972, p. 358) The top hat is an emblem of modernity and contemporary, sophisticated fashion of the period. Nadelman's hallmark style focused on linear curves and form, without superfluous details or ornamentation. The artist once described, "I employ no other line than the curve, which possesses freshness and force..." (as quoted in L. Kirstein, Elie Nadelman, New York, 1973, p. 184) In the present work, Nadelman composed an elegant and clearly defined reduction of the forms of a man's face, which he further modernized with the inclusion of the large top hat. This simplified and uniquely stylized representation of the human figure remained a constant throughout Nadelman's oeuvre.
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