Jacques Lipchitz (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Throughout his long career, Lipchitz made immeasurable contributions to the development of twentieth century sculpture. Beginning with his works of 1913-1930, he was one of the most inventive of the cubist sculptors, creating the sculptural equivalent of the ambiguous spaces and volumes in cubist painting. In his later works, he was less concerned with theory, searching instead for a more personal, expressive formal language.
When eighteen-year-old Jacques Lipchitz arrived in Paris in 1909 from his native Lithuania, he had received little if any formal artistic training and knew very little of the history of art. He later recalled that, although there were no sculptors in the small town of Druskieniki, where he was born, and he had no idea what sculpture was, he had begun on his own to model in clay. When he went to school in nearby Vilna, he encountered the usual art instruction of copying from plaster casts of classical Greek and Roman statues. Having been convinced by this experience that real sculpture had to be white, he whitewashed his own clay sculpture.
In Paris, anxious to begin his studies, Lipchitz first was enrolled in the École des Beaux-Arts, under the tutelage of Jean-Antoine Ingalbert, but soon transferred to the smaller, more informal Académie Julian, where he worked with Raoul Verlet. These two schools shared many of the same faculty, and methods of...
(The entire section is 2032 words.)
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