Jean Pougny (Ivan Puni). Suprematist Relief-Sculpture. 1920s (reconstruction of 1915 original)

Jean Pougny (Ivan Puni) Suprematist Relief-Sculpture 1920s (reconstruction of 1915 original)

  • MoMA, Floor 3, 3 East The Robert B. Menschel Galleries

“An object (a world) freed from meaning disintegrates into real elements—the foundation of art,” Puni wrote in 1915. In tandem with many Russian Communist artists, Puni rejected the “meaning” easily conveyed by representational art and committed himself to working in an abstract mode. This work engages with real space: curving planes balloon out from their wooden ground, and three-dimensional shapes dynamically crisscross and stack up, as if they might break free from the panel.

Gallery label from Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift, October 21, 2019–March 14, 2020
Medium
Painted wood, metal, and cardboard, mounted on wood panel
Dimensions
20 x 15 1/2 x 3" (50.8 x 39.3 x 7.6 cm)
Credit
The Riklis Collection of McCrory Corporation
Object number
1060.1983
Copyright
© 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Department
Painting and Sculpture

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This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.

Madame X. Pougny (Mrs. Jean Pougny, born Xénia Bogouslawska, a.k.a. Xana Bougouslavskaya, a Russian painter herself, d. 1972), Paris. Until 1968
Auction, Christie’s, London, December 6, 1968, cat. no. 48
Leonard Hutton Galleries, New York. [Likely purchased at auction in 1968] By 1971-72
The Riklis Collection of McCrory Corporation. By 1978
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Riklis Collection of McCrory Corporation, 1983

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