The sculptures of Gaston Lachaise, Robert Laurent, Elie Nadelman and William Zorach embody the vitality and vision of four modern artists who—arriving as immigrants in the United States from the growing turbulence of pre-war Europe—responded to the challenges and excitement of American life with extraordinary creativity. Through over 60 sculptures and a select group of drawings, the exhibition reveals their common artistic sources—ranging from ancient statuary to American popular and folk culture, while at the same time reveling in their stylistic individuality. Coming to America is a rare opportunity to explore the works of four major masters who redefined the expressive qualities of the human form in the modern age.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website
Whether or not you go, A New American Sculpture, 1914–1945: Lachaise, Laurent, Nadelman, and Zorach is the first publication to situate the individual contributions of Gaston Lachaise, Robert Laurent, Elie Nadelman, and William Zorach into a compelling constellation of artists with shared aesthetic and social concerns. Although each European-born, American artist cultivated his own distinct style, their creative priorities were all deeply rooted in quiet composition, synthetic approaches to anatomy, and architectural unity of curves and volume. At a time when abstract forms were popular, Lachaise, Laurent, Nadelman, and Zorach were all ultimately in favor of maintaining the integrity of the human body to explore modernist styles. This handsome book underscores their unrelenting search for a novel American visual tradition at the intersection of modernism, historic visual culture, and contemporary popular imagery.
To add this book to your library, click here: A New American Sculpture, 1914–1945: Lachaise, Laurent, Nadelman, and Zorach