July 31, 2017
Jacques Villon (1875-1963), Untitled, 1962, lithograph, 22 7/8 x 10 15/16 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Dr. and Mrs. Paul Bartschi, 1972.
Born in Normandy on this day in 1875, Jacques Villon was born under the name Gaston Duchamp, and was one of the talented and artistic Duchamp siblings—however, he went by the pseudonym “Jacques Villon” to distinguish himself from his family. Often involved in the newest artistic styles circulating throughout Paris, Villon helped to found the Puteaux Group, which was a prominent group of Cubist artists. Villon’s first introduction into the United States art world occurred when he exhibited nine paintings in the famous 1913 New York Armory Show. Never quite as popular as his brother Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Villon became more well-known in the United States than in Europe. This, though, did not prevent him from receiving several international honors, prizes, and commissions. A true innovator and respected artist, Villon passed away in 1963.
This untitled work from 1962 is typical for Villon’s artwork—a beautiful and simple Cubist composition. Created in the year just before his death, the reflective painting has the feel of a stained glass window, which was a medium Villon dabbled in during the later years of his life. Although not given a descriptive title, the colorful, geometric parts of this artwork allow for satisfying, individual interpretations.