Lot 709: HENRYK BERLEWI, Mécano-Facture, 1957


May 25, 2013
Cologne, Germany

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Description: Sculpture. 4 round resp. semi-round perforated square fibreboard panels (5 mm), painted white outside, black inside and fitted together to form a square. Total dimensions: approx. 49.5 x 51 x 50 cm. Mounted onto a black wooden plinth not forming part of the sculpture (0.7 x 60 x 60.1 cm). Unsigned. Unique object. - Paint applied with brush, irregular coverage.ProvenanceEstate of the artist; Vente d'Atelier Berlewi, Versailles, 17 Februar 1974; private collection, ParisLiteratureJean-Paul Chapelle, Paul Perrin, Dominique Fromantin, Atelier Henryk Berlewi, Vente Hotel des Chevau-Légers, Versailles, 17. février 1974, with leaflet; exhib. cat. H. Berlewi, Galerie Rewolle, Bremen 1967, cf. no. 23, Perforated Mechano-Faktur-Cube, 1964, 50 cm, wit illus.In 1922/1923 Henryk Berlewi developed his theory of "Mécano-Facture" which he subsequently published as a manifesto in Warsaw in 1924. Influenced by the international emergence of Constructivism, he propagated a non-representational, abstract-geometric art. This art was to be collectivist in orientation, adapting to social developments and society and geared towards industrially developed structures and requirements. Berlewi was interested in advertising, design, printing and typography. He moved to France at the age of 34, where he had previously studied at the École des Beaux-Arts from 1911 to 1912. In Paris he initially produced more traditional, representational works. After the war, from about 1954, he returned to his principles of "Mécano-Facture", this time adopting an aesthetic approach that anticipated Op Art. The 1950s and 1960s were marked by renewed activities in this direction. "Dans un texte du Sturm, en 1924, Berlewi s'explique sur se qui'il entend par facture et qui est assez proche de telles recherches de matière des cubistes français, des constructivistes russes ou de l'allemand Schwitters. On observera qu'il est assez fatal que le vide créé, dans la création de l'aeuvre d'art, de l'objet d'art, par la négation du monde extérieur, s'emplisse d'une immédiate prépondérance de la matière, des matières, du matériau. Mais Berlewi ira plus loin et substituera à l'emploi des matériaux les moyens de la 'facture mécanique', proches de ceux des techniques industrielles et par conséquent propres à atteindre au plus pur degré de l'objectif et du général." (Jean Cassou, in his preface to the exhib. cat. "précurseurs de l'art abstrait en pologne, kazimierz malewicz, katarzyna kobro, wladyslaw, strzeminski, henryk berlewi, henryk staszewski, Galerie Denise René, Paris, Nov. - Dec. 1957, p. 9).
Notes: VAT: Margin scheme
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