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Henri Laurens

French, 1885–1954

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Henri Laurens

French, 1885–1954

3,741
Followers
Biography

Henri Laurens began his career creating wood and polychrome plaster sculptures, drawing on the tenets of Cubism and adopting such typically Cubist subjects as dissected human figures, guitars, and still lifes. For instance, Clown (1915), which drew on Pablo Picassos’s assemblages, consists of juxtaposed spheres, cones, and cylinders. As his career progressed, Laurens shifted toward subtler low-relief terracottas, eventually forsaking his fragmented geometric style in favor of a more natural, curvilinear one. He became known for highly abstract, rhythmic female nudes, often reclining or bathing, made from stone or bronze. Works such as La Grande Sirène (1945) and Amphion (1952) reinterpret themes from Greco-Roman mythology; Laurens approached his sculptures with a vague notion of how they should look, but increasingly succumbed to subconscious inspiration. Besides sculpting, he was also prolific in collage, printmaking, and illustration.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Auction
High auction record
$2m, Phillips, 2018
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
The Guardian
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Biography

Henri Laurens began his career creating wood and polychrome plaster sculptures, drawing on the tenets of Cubism and adopting such typically Cubist subjects as dissected human figures, guitars, and still lifes. For instance, Clown (1915), which drew on Pablo Picassos’s assemblages, consists of juxtaposed spheres, cones, and cylinders. As his career progressed, Laurens shifted toward subtler low-relief terracottas, eventually forsaking his fragmented geometric style in favor of a more natural, curvilinear one. He became known for highly abstract, rhythmic female nudes, often reclining or bathing, made from stone or bronze. Works such as La Grande Sirène (1945) and Amphion (1952) reinterpret themes from Greco-Roman mythology; Laurens approached his sculptures with a vague notion of how they should look, but increasingly succumbed to subconscious inspiration. Besides sculpting, he was also prolific in collage, printmaking, and illustration.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Auction
High auction record
$2m, Phillips, 2018
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
The Guardian
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Shows Featuring Henri Laurens