One of the most distinguished American sculptors of the 20th Century.” - The New York Times
August 6, 2015 – Rosenberg & Co. is honored to represent the estate of Reuben Nakian and marks this partnership by organizing the artist’s first New York solo exhibition in a decade.
Reuben Nakian: The Divine Female Form focuses on Nakian’s work during the prime of his artistic career, from the 1950s to 1980s. The exhibition encompasses bronze and terracotta sculptures, and works on paper. A number of bronze sculptures have been newly cast in cooperation with the estate and are able to be viewed for the first time.
The theme of Greco-Roman mythology binds together the works included in The Divine Female Form. With his series of sculptural bronze and terracotta plaques, or tondos, Nakian treated lush classical subject matter with a spare and modern economy of line in bas-relief. The figurative sculptures depict goddesses and nymphs cavorting with avatars of Jupiter in a celebration of abundance and sensuality. Even highly abstracted works reference the classical tradition, and are conferred titles such as “Mars and Venus.” The Divine Female Form reveals Reuben Nakian’s vision in exploring ancient lore through modern aesthetic tastes and sensibilities.
This exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated publication with an essay by Dr. Robert P. Metzger.
Reuben Nakian (1897, College Point NY -1986, Stamford CT) was mentored by Paul Manship and Constantin Brancusi, and developed close ties with fellow artists in his circle, such as Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky, and Franz Kline. Over his long and illustrious career, Nakian represented the United States at the São Paulo Bienal (1961) and Venice Biennale (1968). He was also granted major solo exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1962); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1966); the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C. (1981); and the Milwaukee Art Museum (1985). His works are included in these permanent collections, as well as those of: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Morgan Library, New York; National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, among many other important institutions.