the passing of timedenise lassaw
In August 2014 Ernestine Lassaw, widow of Ibram Lassaw, passed away at age 101. Lassaw's work is now in storage and I can be reached at this new email. For archival information, images etc. thanks.D
welded tables at auction- NOT LASSAWDenise Lassaw
Tale of The Tables /edited version
Since 2007 I have been aware of the sale of 3 welded tables with glass tops that come up for auction or are sold at fancy stores in China. These tables have been listed as either BY Ibram Lassaw or IN THE STYLE OF Ibram Lassaw. They are NOT by Ibram Lassaw and I object to the designation of IN THE STYLE OF. Since the 1960’s welding has been taught in most art schools and in university art departments. There are potentially hundreds if not more welders out there who are able to produce the welded tables that are being attributed to Ibram Lassaw.
My father would not have approved of using a sculpture for a table and in both my and my mothers memory, and just as importantly according to his Sculpture Book in which he recorded each of his sculptures, not one welded table is recorded. Also he always signed his work. He made heavy wooden worktables, our dinning table, shelves, stairs, and boxes, our beds, and even jigsaw puzzles but he had never made a table that pretended to be a sculpture.
I am trying to make good connections with auction houses and art historians in order to head off the many mistakes I have discovered while researching auction records and working on my Annotated Bibliography. In one book published in 2000 the author gave my fathers dates as 1913-1985, erasing nearly 15 productive years from his life, while he still lived. Other books have mis-titled works and in auctions . . . well it is a good day when the sculpture matches the title and year, not to mention the materials. So any time an auction house wishes to ID a Lassaw sculpture they have only to contact me and I am happy to check the records. A museum in Israel has been showing their Lassaw sculpture upside down for years, and a west cost auction house sent pictures I could not ID until I turned them around and all become clear. People who own sculptures also ask me about titles, dates and cleaning. So I have been doing my job and was feeling pretty friendly towards all concerned, until today. This morning I got my Mutualart alert which informed me that a Lassaw coffee table had been sold at auction. What this? I recently informed that same auction house that this was NOT a Lassaw sculpture/table and they said they would change it to “in the style of Lassaw”. I protested “in the style of” and got a phone call in which the whole theory of attribution of works was explained to me. Very interesting. So now I understand, “In the style of” is the lowest level, the furthest away from the named artist. I think they should “in the style of” someone else but this is standard practice and there is no way I can change it. I was also told that that same auction house has seen a number of these tables in the last 15 years.
The web link that I opened from the MutualArt site (not written by them) plainly said, “COFFEE TABLE BY IBRAM LASSAW”.
“COFFEE TABLE BY IBRAM LASSAW “!!!!! SOLD. How did this happen? Someone bought this table believing it was made by Ibram Lassaw?
I would like to know how many more tables are out there? Who is manufacturing them? How many people think they have a welded coffee table by Ibram Lassaw?
Looking at the world this does not even make the radar as a problem, but in my book this is an ugly blob. Since the tables are not signed they cannot be called forgeries. . but someone is making a living by creating an illusion for ignorant people to buy into. Let the buyer beware? Let the buyer be educated.!
Thus I offer this short story in the hope that I will never hear of another welded coffee table. But should you have one that was attributed to or in the style of, or you were led to believe it was by Ibram Lassaw, or should you know who is making them. Please, let me know.
(Archivist, carpenter, sculpture repair, historian, photographer, website creator, etc and daughter- Ibram Lassaw Studio)
retrospective catalogdenise lassaw
Editioni della Cometa, Roma has published a 240 page catalog of the Retrospective exhibition at MUSMA in Matera, Italy. The catalog has color reproductions of all the works in the show. This is Lassaw's first large catalog and it contains essays by Ellen Russotto, Francis V. O'Connor, Giuesppe Appella and Denise Lassaw.
international exhibitionDenise Lassaw
We are pleased to announce Ibram Lassaw's first international Retrospective Exhibition is about
to open at the Museo Della Scultura Contemporanea , Matera,
Italy, on June 14.
Works will remain on view until Oct.15, 2008.
A large color catalog will be available through the Museum
CATALOGUE RAISONNE´PROJECTDenise Lassaw
The Catalogue Raisonne´ of the art works of Ibram Lassaw (1913-2003) is being complied by the Ibram Lassaw Foundation. The project aims to catalogue all of Lassaw’s sculpture, works on paper, projection paintings, bosom sculptures and photographs, and to create a comprehensive account of Lassaw’s career.
To this end we are seeking information regarding sculpture, works on paper (excluding prints) from all people and institutions that possess, or previously possessed, works by the artist.
We are asking owners (and former owners) of works for information about the medium, dimensions, signature, provenance and exhibition history for each work, and a photograph or digital image, if possible.
Please email to Denise Lassaw
Thanks for your cooperation without which this project can not achieve its goals.
Clouds of Magellan is still at the Philip Johnson estate which has now become a museum.
For biographical, bibliography and a historical survey of artworks- visit their website.
Recently a large 1956 commission for a synagogue in Port Chester NY was aquired by the Jewish Museum in NYC to be part of their permanent collection.
clouds of magellandenise lassaw
I am wondering about the whereabouts of a work commissioned for Philip Johnson in 1953, "Clouds of Magellan"
If any one knows anything about it please email me. I assumed all this time that it was still in the Glass House- but maybe not.
Ibram LassawDenise Lassaw
Art historians and students who are interested in additional information on Ibram Lassaw, the Lassaw Archives Project or the Lassaw Folder which includes biographical data and slides- shold contact me,