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Germaine Richier

/Works and biography

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Tauromachy (Tauromachie), 1953
Bronze, figure 111.5 cm high; base 95.7 x 52.5 x 3 cm
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice 76.2553 PG 205
© Germaine Richier, by SIAE 2008


Germaine Richier’s investigation of the composition and decomposition of organic materials situates her work in the vitalist current of twentieth-century sculpture, which concerns itself with natural processes. In an assault on closed form, she breaks through her heavily worked surfaces to expose the structural armature and hollow spaces within the bodies they describe. In subject matter and style this sculpture recalls both Pablo Picasso’s Surrealist bullfight imagery of the 1930s and his sculptures of the early 1950s. Richier shared with Picasso an interest in the mythic, archaic implications of bullfights, which she attended as a child in Provence, where she grew up. Moreover, the figure's head has been transformed into a trident, a small metal prod attached to a wooden stick the horsemen who guard bulls still use today in the Camargue. Richier, like Henry Moore during the same year, places her forms in situational relationships.

credits: Hangar Design Group