Portraits of The-Non-Existent-Bird. - OSSIP ZADKINE.

From 6 to 8 May 2020 - Musée. Institut du monde arabe.

  • Zadkine, Aveline, Portrait de l’Oiseau ... 1

    Portrait de l'Oiseau-Qui-N'Existe-Pas et Autres poèmes. Claude Aveline, Geneva, 1964. Artist book, 25 x 33 cm. Poems illustrated with 18 original lithographs. Edition of 195 copies, each one numbered and signed by the poet and the artist. Donation Claude & France Lemand. Museum, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © The Estates of Ossip Zadkine and Claude Aveline. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • ZADKINE, Portrait de l’Oiseau-Qui-N’Existe-Pas.

    Portrait de l'Oiseau-Qui-N'Existe-Pas, 1957. Graphite on paper. Donation by Claude Aveline to MNAM, Centre Georges Pompidou, O D AM 2832 D.

  • Zadkine/Aveline, Portrait de l’Oiseau ... 2

    Ossip Zadkine, Claude Aveline, Portrait de l'Oiseau-Qui-N'Existe-Pas et Autres poèmes, Geneva, 1964. Artist book, 25 x 33 cm. Poems illustrated with 18 original lithographs. Edition of 195 copies, each one numbered and signed by the poet and the artist.

  • ZADKINE, Litho, Portrait de l’Oiseau ... .

    Portrait de l'Oiseau-Qui-N'Existe-Pas, ca 1960. Original litho, signed and numbered 46/50, 50 x 35 cm. Donation Claude & France Lemand. Museum, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © The Estate of Ossip Zadkine. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • Zadkine/Aveline, Portrait de l’Oiseau ... 12

    Ossip Zadkine, Claude Aveline, Portrait de l’Oiseau-Qui-N’Existe-Pas et Autres poèmes, Genève, 1965. Artist book, 25 x 33 cm. Poems by Claude Aveline, accompanied by 18 original lithographs by Ossip Zadkine.

  • Zadkine/Aveline, Portrait de l’Oiseau ... 13

    Ossip Zadkine, Claude Aveline, Portrait de l’Oiseau-Qui-N’Existe-Pas et Autres poèmes, Genève, 1965. Artist book, 25 x 33 cm. Poems by Claude Aveline, accompanied by 18 original lithographs by Ossip Zadkine.

  • Zadkine/Aveline, Portrait de l’Oiseau ... 15

    Ossip Zadkine, Claude Aveline, Portrait de l’Oiseau-Qui-N’Existe-Pas et Autres poèmes, Genève, 1965. Artist book, 25 x 33 cm. Poems by Claude Aveline, accompanied by 18 original lithographs by Ossip Zadkine.

  • Zadkine/Aveline, Portrait de l’Oiseau ... 17

    Ossip Zadkine, Claude Aveline, Portrait de l’Oiseau-Qui-N’Existe-Pas et Autres poèmes, Genève, 1965. Artist book, 25 x 33 cm. Poems by Claude Aveline, accompanied with 18 original lithographs by Ossip Zadkine.

  • Zadkine/Aveline, Portrait de l’Oiseau ... 18

    Ossip Zadkine, Claude Aveline, Portrait de l’Oiseau-Qui-N’Existe-Pas et Autres poèmes, Genève, 1965. Artist book, 25 x 33 cm. Poems by Claude Aveline, accompanied by 18 original lithographs by Ossip Zadkine.

  • Ossip ZADKINE, Portraits de l’Oiseau-Qui-N’Existe-Pas.

    Portrait de l’Oiseau-Qui-N’Existe-Pas & Autres poèmes, 1964. Poems by Claude Aveline, accompanied by 18 original lithographs by Ossip Zadkine, under cover, 33 x 25 cm. Printed in Paris and published in Geneva. Limited edition of 195 copies, numbered and signed by the poet and the artist. Donation Claude & France Lemand 2018. Museum, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © The Estate of Ossip Zadkine and The Estate of Claude Aveline.

PORTRAITS OF THE-NON-EXISTENT-BIRD - OSSIP ZADKINE

The Birds of Ossip Zadkine.
Claude Lemand.

The bird theme did not inspire Ossip Zadkine, neither in his sculptures nor in his paintings and engravings. Representing the human body of both men and women is the core of his artistic universe and it is his only concern. However, he produced a plaster sculpture entitled The Golden Bird in South of France in 1926. The sun was his source of inspiration for his colors, red and gold, « the gold leaves create an effect of majestic feathers ».

Claude Aveline met Zadkine at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, during the artist’s first solo retrospective in 1949 that Jean Cassou organized for him. Cassou was a poet, writer, member of the resistance, general director of the National Museum of Modern Art of Paris since 1945 as well as being Claude Aveline’s childhood friend and the latter’s resistance companion at the Musée de l’Homme. The following year in 1950, Zadkine was awarded the great sculpture prize at the Venice Biennial, whilst the prize for painting was awarded to Matisse.

Aveline became a close friend of Zadkine, who drew for him a Portrait of The-Non-Existent-Bird in 1957 (Gift of Claude Aveline, MNAM, Centre Georges Pompidou), a large drawing on paper of a man-bird executed in his signature expressionistic style. In 1964, Aveline’s poem stimulated the artist’s imagination and apparently revived his Russian cultural roots. Zadkine drew 18 colour Portraits of The-Non-Existent-Bird, which were then reproduced in lithographs by Mourlot in Paris: expressionistic or baroque man-birds, fantasy and lyrical chimera-like birds. The author and the artist exhibited this book in Paris and promoted it together. An interview recorded from the radio can be found in the collections of the INA (Institut National de l’Audiovisuel), in which Claude Aveline and Ossip Zakine realise that their parents come from the same village in Russia!

The bird is the last theme that inspired Zadkine just like Claude Aveline’s bust was his last sculpture. The day after Zadkine passed away, Claude Aveline published an article in Le Figaro, a tribute to the great sculptor’s genius and a detailed account of Zadkine’s technique used to realise his bust, the last piece completed before the artist’s death.

Copyright © Galerie Claude Lemand 2012.

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