Ossip Zadkine, Statue pour un jardin, 1958
Ossip Zadkine, Statue pour un jardin, 1958

Statue for a Garden

We know this bronze sculpture in a number of states. The oldest is likely to be a version in wood from 1927. The title indicates the artist’s need to see his statue placed outside, if possible, in the wind, so that it turned the metal flaps representing the heart and the inside of the body, which are encased in the bronze and swivel on a central axle. They move slowly and randomly, or else in jerky movements, and the work is never seen from exactly the same angle twice.

Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967)

After leaving his native Russia and spending four years in Britain (1905-08), Ossip Zadkine settled in France in 1909. After a short time at the École des Beaux-Arts, he acquired an atelier at La Ruche. In the First World War, he enlisted as an ambulance driver and stretcher-bearer; during the Second, he went into exile in New York (October 1941 to September 1945). He is regarded as one of the great masters of cubist sculpture.

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