One of the most celebrated abstract sculptors of the 20th century, Jacques Lipchitz was also a highly skilled painter. Living and working in Paris in the early 1900s, he became fast friends with Picasso and Archipenko who introduced him to Cubism. ‘Personnage Assis’ is from the end of Lipchitz’s formal Cubist period, with the artist moving towards more distinctly figurative work from the mid 1920s.
‘Personnage Assis’ is an important example of Lipchitz’s development of Crystal Cubism. The movement focused upon tight compositions geometric abstraction with large flat overlapping planes. Many of the artists experimenting with the movement - such as Juan Gris, Jean Metzinger and Henri Laurens – were represented by the epitmous dealer and collector Léonce Rosenberg who ran Galerie de L’Effort Moderne and first sold ‘Personnage Assis’. Rosenberg held a series of Cubist exhibitions at L’Effort Moderne in 1918 and included Picasso, Braque and Leger in these seminal exhibitions.
Lipchitz was greatly celebrated during his lifetime, being awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 1946 and in 1954 Museum of Modern Art held a retrospective of his work. His works are now many of the most distinguished international collections such as Centre Pompidou, Paris; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Tate Modern, London.