Reclining Female Nude". Original lithograph. Signed and dated 1926 in pencil, lower left. Edition size unknown, presumed very small. Cream laid watermarked paper. Wide margins. In beautiful condition. Literature/catalogue raisonne: ""Donald Karshan 7. A rare and large Archipenko print.""
What makes this lithograph special is the dual dedication and signature of both Archipenko and concert pianist Willem Mengelberg; who was also conductor at The Philharmonic Society in New York at the time of the meeting and who was a great source of inspiration for Archipenko. Archipenko made a bronze bust of Mengelberg which is in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Willem Mengelberg was chief conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra from 1895 to 1945. In the 1920s he was also conductor of the Philharmonic Society of New York (now New York Philharmonic). In 1926 he posed there for Alexander Archipenko. The bust in the Conductor's Foyer shows the maestro in action during Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, one of his favorite works. Archipenko had heard that symphony at Carnegie Hall shortly before. He was fascinated by the conductor's expression and said he did not rest until he pictured "the vision of that evening." The back of the bust shows that Mengelberg posed for a total of five quarters of an hour.
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