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A New American Sculpture, 1914-1945: Lachaise, Laurent, Nadelman, and Zorach is the first exhibition to investigate the integral relationships between modernism, classicism, and popular imagery in the interwar sculpture of Gaston Lachaise, Robert Laurent, Elie Nadelman, and William Zorach. The exhibition, co-organized by the Portland Museum of Art and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, will explore how this circle of European-born artists became preeminent figures of modernism in the United States. By juxtaposing their works, A New American Sculpture will reveal the confluences of sources—from archaism and European avant-garde art to vernacular traditions and American popular culture—that informed these artists' novel contributions to the history of sculpture. Assembled from public and private collections, this exhibition of approximately 60 sculptures and a number of preparatory drawings will address the remarkable affinities between the oeuvre of four divergent personalities, who redefined sculpture's expressive potential during the turbulent interbellum period.
Between 1900 and 1914, Lachaise, Laurent, Nadelman, and Zorach each enjoyed formative experiences in Paris amid an exhilarating era of artistic experimentation and formentation. They witnessed the development of modern sculptural modes informed by divergent currents of classicism, global sources, the energy of science and industry, and nontraditional technical approaches. By the beginning of the first World War, all four artists had settled in the United States, each responding differently to his new home and laying the seeds for what would become their shared, lifelong preoccupation: exploring the communicative power of the human form.
A New American Sculpture, 1914-1945: Lachaise, Laurent, Nadelman, and Zorach has been organized by the Portland Museum of Art, Maine, and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.
Generously supported by Isabelle and Scott Black.
Image: Robert Laurent (United States, born France, 1890-1970), Hero and Leander, circa 1943, limestone, 27 x 39 x 20 inches, Portland Museum of Art, Maine, Hamilton Easter Field Art Foundation Collection, gift of Barn Gallery Associates, Inc., Ogunquit, Maine, 1979.13.45. © Estate of Robert Laurent. Photo by Bruce Schwarz