From: Los Angeles County Museum of Art Limited Edition: 40 Exhibition: Modigliani and the Artists of Montparnasse Material: Printed 2-ply vinyl Dimensions: 35" x 96" (88.9cm x 243.84cm)
Hanging Hardware Included
Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani is among a group of modern avant-garde artists who worked in Paris in the early 20th century, and whose personal lives, vices, friendships, and excesses often supercedes their work. He was a contemporary of the Cubists, and his work was influenced by that emotionally-charged style. Forty banners from the exhibition "Modigliani and the Artists of Montparnasse" at LACMA are now available, sure to add vicarious bohemian panache to any interior.
Amedeo Modigliani was part of a circle of predominantly Jewish artists living and working in the Montparnasse district of Paris in the early 20th century. Montparnasse at the time was the artistic heart of the city with a bohemian enclave that included Chaim Soutine, Jacob Epstein, Jean Cocteau, Jacques Lipchitz, Diego Rivera, Pablo Picasso, and Constantine Brancusi. They were united by their work, their shared artistic endeavors, and often their challenges in the face of French anti-Semitism. This close-knit circle of artists often influenced one another’s work, and Modigliani regularly painted portraits of his friends.
This banner features a detail of one such portrait of the Lithuanian-born sculptor Jacques Lipchitz and his wife, Berthe. The portrait is indicative of Modigliani’s modern style, with obvious Cubist influences seen in the geometric lines and angles. But this is softened with fluid lines and curves that nonetheless are bold in their execution, as seen in banner''s close-up of Lipchitz''s face . Another hallmark is his use of black outlines that suggest the silhouette of his subject, something that makes his work stand out amidst the work of his contemporaries. The face is painted in a fashion that recalls the African art, particularly sculptural masks, that Modigliani saw in Paris at the Musée de l’Homme, and which influenced his work.
The portrait of Lipchitz and his wife evoke not just an image of the sitters, but something of their personalities and character. There is a certain classicism in the work, reflective of Lipchitz’s own art, and a pensiveness and tenderness in the sculptor’s expression. The banner shows this to full effect by closely cropping in to show just the dramatic detail of the artist’s face.
The front of this banner features a detail of the painting “Jacques and Berthe Lipchitz”, from 1916, now in the collection of The Art Institute of Chicago. In addition, a stripe of green runs the length of the banner and includes black text that reads “Modigliani”. The banner was designed to flank a city street-lamp post, so hanging two banners side-by-side creates a dramatic and complete diptych. The text begins on one side and continues on the other. The complete text reads, “Modigliani and the Artists of Montparnasse”, “June 19 – Sept. 28, 2003”, “spend your summer at LACMA”. The image is also continued on the back.
These banners were displayed around Los Angeles to promote the exhibition, Modigliani and the Artists of Montparnasse at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The exhibition ran from June 29 to September 28, 2003. The exhibition was also seen at The Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth, Texas and the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, New York. Another banner from the exhibition features Modigliani''s '"Woman''s Portrait'".