Collection > OSSIP ZADKINE



Inventory number J 12

Zadkine kept revisiting the poet figure of Apollinaire, a proponent of cubism and one of the most influential as well as contradictory individuals of his era – the successor of the traditional neo-romanticism aesthetics and poetics, contrasted by being the author of numerous ground-breaking poems. Since Zadkine refused to conform to the established rules of sculpture anatomy, he paid no great attention to re-creating the exact likeness of the poet and rather used the image of Apollinaire to capture the very essence of his poetic endeavours.  More important than those formal graphic complications of depicting the head, as well as the body, turned out to be the innate message resonating through the image of the poet’s figure. Most of all, he wanted to showcase Apollinaire as the poet who belongs to everyone and transcends all time barriers, in addition to being the voice of what is most intimate in humans, and who, as an accomplished wordsmith, can articulate all those sentiments and feelings, which is too tall a task for everyone else. It can be said that Zadkine materialised Apollinaire’s poetry by transforming the poet’s image into bronze.

In 1966, Zadkine participated with two sculptures Wife with a Fan and Homage to Apollinaire, rough draft at the international exhibition curated by The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroška (KGLU) titled Peace, Humanity, and Friendship among Nations. KGLU expressed the wish to secure the property rights of Homage to Apollinaire, rough draft, but due to Zadkine’s death in 1967, the realisation of this project was postponed until as late as 1990, when the sculpture was cast into bronze by permission of Zadkine Museum and transported from Paris to Slovenj Gradec.  It is installed in the museum’s atrium as part of the permanent collection.

Text: Katarina Hergold Germ

Skip to content