Germaine Richier

Germaine Richier

French sculptor Germaine Richier spent the majority of her art career creating powerful and often melancholic human and animal forms out of darkly tarnished bronze. Born in Grans in 1902, the artist studied at the École des Beaux Arts, at the studio of renowned bust-maker Louis-Jacques Guigues, and with the Rodin-trained bronze expert Antoine Bourdelle.

Although she was trained classically, usually sculpting from a live model, and remained loyal to the traditional medium of bronze, Richier also experimented extensively in her work. Her early sculptures included characteristics of both humans and animals in a single piece, and after the second World War, her emotive figures began to look significantly more wretched and deformed. Still, throughout her artistic life, many of her works maintained levity, playfulness, and fantasy, so that instead of simply documenting life as it was, Richier offered another, more hopeful option for the way things might be.

In 1936, Richier won the Prix Blumenthal. She exhibited extensively during her lifetime, including five times at the Venice Biennale and at museums such as the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. The artist’s fluorishing career was tragically truncated when she died of cancer in 1959. Since then, venues worldwide such as the Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany, the Kunstmuseum Berne, Switzerland, and the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark, have continued to showcase her extensive oeuvre.

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Selected Works

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  • Loretto

    1934

    Dark patinated bronze

    62 13/16 x 21 5/8 x 14 3/16 inches (159.5 x 55 x 36 cm)

    Private Collection

    11 Examples

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  • L'Escrimeuse

    1943

    Dark patinated bronze

    39 3/4 x 27 x 14 inches (101 x 68.5 x 35.5 cm)

    Private Collection

    11 Examples

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  • L'Escrimeuse avec masque

    1943

    Dark patinated bronze

    39 3/4 x 27 3/4 x 13 3/16 inches (101 x 70.5 x 33.5 cm)

    Private Collection

    11 Examples

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  • L'Homme-forêt, grand

    1945-1946

    Polished Natural Bronze

    37 x 17 3/4 x 17 3/4 inches (94 x 45 x 45 cm)

    12 Examples

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  • L'Araignée I

    1946

    Dark patinated bronze

    11 13/16 x 18 1/8 x 9 inches (30 x 46 x 23 cm)

    Private Collection

    12 Examples

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  • La Mante, moyenne

    1946

    Dark patinated bronze

    27 3/16 x 6 5/16 x 14 9/16 inches (69 x 16 x 37 cm)

    Private Collection

    11 Examples

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  • La Chauve-Souris

    1946

    Polished natural bronze

    35 13/16 x 35 13/16 x 20 3/4 inches (91 x 91 x 52 cm)

    Courtesy Galerie Jacques de la Béraudière, Geneva

    11 Examples

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  • La Forêt

    1946

    Dark patinated bronze

    46 7/16 x 11 13/16 x 12 7/16 inches (118 x 30 x 31.5 cm)

    Private Collection

    11 Examples

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  • L'Orage

    1947-1948

    Dark patinated bronze

    74 7/16 x 28 3/8 x 22 13/16 inches (189 x 72 x 58 cm)

    Private Collection

    11 Examples

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  • Don Quichotte à la lance

    1949

    Polished natural bronze

    17 5/16 x 6 5/16 x 6 7/8 inches (44 x 16 x 17.5 cm)

    Private Collection

    12 Examples

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  • Don Quichotte
    1950-1951
    Dark patinated bronze
    88 9/16 x 38 3/16 x 31 13/16 inches (225 x 97 x 81 cm)
    Private Collection
    11 Examples

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  • Le Berger des Landes
    1951
    Dark patinated bronze
    58 5/8 x 35 x 23 5/8 inches (149 x 89 x 60 cm)
    Private Collection
    11 Examples

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  • La Ville
    1951
    Dark patinated bronze
    53 1/8 x 24 7/16 x 24 inches (135 x 62 x 61 cm)
    Private Collection
    11 Examples

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  • Le Griffu
    1952
    Dark patinated bronze
    35 x 38 9/16 x 33 7/16 inches (89 x 98 x 85 cm)
    Private Collection
    11 Examples

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  • La Tauromachie
    1953
    Polished natural bronze
    45 11/16 x 21 1/4 x 39 3/4 inches (116 x 54 x 101 cm)
    11 Examples

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  • Le Sablier III
    1953
    Dark patinated bronze
    26 9/16 x 13 x 11 1/4 inches (67.5 x 33 x 28.5 cm)
    12 Examples

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  • La Mandoline ou La Cigale
    1954-1955
    Polished natural bronze
    23 5/8 x 15 3/8 x 17 5/16 inches (60 x 39 x 44 cm)
    Private Collection
    12 Examples

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  • L'Eau
    1953-1954
    Dark patinated bronze
    57 1/2 x 24 13/16 x 39 3/4 inches (146 x 63 x 101 cm)
    Private Collection
    11 Examples

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  • Le Grain
    1955
    Dark patinated bronze
    56 7/8 x 12 13/16 x 12 1/4 inches (144.5 x 32.5 x 31 cm)
    11 Examples

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  • La Sauterelle, grande
    1955-1956
    Dark patinated bronze
    54 x 39 x 69 5/16 inches (137 x 99 x 176 cm)
    11 Examples

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  • L'Homme de la nuit, grand
    1954
    Dark patinated bronze
    30 1/16 x 32 11/16 x 12 3/16 inches (78 x 83 x 31 cm)
    Private Collection
    11 Examples

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  • La Montagne
    1955-1956
    Dark patinated bronze
    72 13/16 x 129 15/16 x 51 3/18 inches (185 x 330 x 130 cm)
    Private Collection

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  • La Spirale
    1957
    Polished natural bronze
    113 3/8 x 22 1/2 x 22 1/2 inches (288 x 57 x 57 cm)
    Private Collection
    11 Examples

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  • Le Couple peint
    1959
    Painted bronze
    Height with base: 54 1/2 inches (138.5 cm)
    Private Collection
    Unique

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  • L'Echiquier, grand
    1959
    Dark patinated bronze
    The King: 81 x 19 3/4 x 12 1/2 inches (206 x 50 x 32 cm)
    The Queen: 88 1/2 x 17 1/4 x 13 inches (225 x 44 x 33 cm)
    The Knight: 65 3/4 x 14 1/2 x 16 1/4 inches (167 x 37 x 41 cm)
    The Tower: 77 1/2 x 15 3/4 x 11 1/2 inches (197 x 40 x 29 cm)
    The Bishop: 68 x 24 x 13 inches (173 x 61 x 33 cm)
    Private Collection
    11 Examples

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Selected Press

Tate Modern | Germaine Richier

September 1, 2016

In 1957, discussing her own work, the sculptor and etcher Germaine Richier (1902–1959) reflected …

Culture Catch | Germaine Richier: The Return of a Shape Shifter

June 6, 2014

Domenique Lévy and Emmanuel Perrotin have collaborated on presenting a survey of figurative sculptures …

Art in America | Germaine Richier

May 7, 2014

Dominique Lévy and Galerie Perrotin’s joint presentation of more than 40 works by the French sculptor …

Artforum | Germaine Richier

May 1, 2014

Recently, Dominique Levy and Emmanuel Perrotin gave over their joint gallery spaces to a challenging, …

art critical | Ready for Revival: Germaine Richier’s Figurative Sculptural Fantasies

April 12, 2014

Germaine Richier (1902-1959), a pupil of Antonie Bourdelle was much honored in her native France and, …

WNYC | Digging Into the Past for New Art

April 11, 2014

New York galleries are looking into the past for the next big thing. Surging values for postwar and …

Blouin Artinfo | VIDEO: Sculptural Symphony of Germaine Richier at Dominique Lévy, Perrotin

April 4, 2014

It’s been more than half a century since Germaine Richier (1902 - 1959) left her mark in America. …

Brooklyn Rail | Germaine Richier

April 2, 2014

Though housed in the impeccable walls of Dominique Lévy uptown, the sculptures of Germaine Richier …

Artslant | Rediscovering Greatness: the sculptures of Germaine Richier

April 2, 2014

Forty-six of French artist Germaine Richier’s sculptures fill the three floors of the Dominique

Bloomberg | Forgotten Artists Monetized as Millionaires Buy History

April 1, 2014

Martial Raysse hadn’t had a solo U.S. show for more than four decades when the 78-year-old French …

The New York Times | Staging a Rescue From Obscurity

March 20, 2014

We live in what might be called the era of “no artist left behind.” It’s a period of sometimes …

Artnet | Must See Gallery Shows on the Upper East Side When Visiting ADAA

March 7, 2014

Sometimes it seems like Chelsea galleries get all the attention, deservedly, perhaps, but there are …

Wall Street Journal | Without a Drop of Irony

March 5, 2014

Agonized sincerity does not sit well in today’s art world, where irony-albeit sometimes diluted …

Wallpaper | Germaine Richier's sculptures get their first US showing in nearly sixty years

March 4, 2014

In a 1956 photo, Germaine Richier stands over a table in the back corner of her Paris studio sorting …

Huffington Post | Quick! 10 Things to See in New York Before They Close

March 3, 2014

Some of New York’s must-see sites are permanent: Lady Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central …

Artforum | Germaine Richier

March 3, 2014

Though in her heyday she was more prominent than fellow bronze sculptor Alberto Giacometti, Germaine …

WNYC | Humans – Crossed with Toads and Spiders

March 1, 2014

Germaine Richier’s bronze sculptures, on view at Dominique Lévy gallery on the Upper East Side, …

whitewall | Top Exhibitions Opening this Week in NY (Feb 24 - Mar 2)

March 1, 2014

Germaine Richier will present more than forty important sculptures ranging from early torsos and figures, …

Hyperallergic | Reconsidering Germaine Richier’s Spectral Sculpture

February 28, 2014

Among France’s postwar female sculptors, Germaine Richier, and her haunting figuration, is today …

Interview Magazine | Germaine Richier's Forest

February 28, 2014

To walk into a room filled with the sculptures of Germaine Richier is to enter a mythic, uncanny forest. …

Le Journal Francais des Etats-Unis | Les œuvres de Germaine Richier exposées à New York, après 50 ans d'absence

February 27, 2014

Elle figure en bonne place dans les manuels histoire de l’art au XXe siècle. Pourtant, Germaine …

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