Olle Emanuelsson Collection presents Henri Laurens
Olle Emanuelsson Collection
— Henri Laurens, ”Torse”
Henri Laurens was born in Paris in 1885 and started making sculptures already as a 13-year-old. He worked in a construction and decoration company where he acquired material knowledge and performed sculptural decoration works early on. In the evenings, he studied model drawing and learned to translate the three-dimensional shape to quick charcoal drawings on paper. The human form, especially the female, also became his sculptural signature.
In 1902 he took residence in Montmartre, the artist quarters in Paris, where the changes that came with the new century also sparked change amongst the artists. 1905 he met Marthe Duverger, whom he later married. She became the first model that he sculpted according to classical ideals. Auguste Rodin influenced him during this early period, but his artistic expression changed when he met Georg Braque in 1911. They became close friends, and Braque inspired Laurens to experiment with cubism. Laurens developed a strong cubistic design language and created paper collages and wood and metal works during the 1910s. One of Laurens’ earliest and most interesting works of art, broken down into lines and angles, from this time, is now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm (Clown, 1915)
” The human form, especially the female, became his sculptural signature. ”
Picasso was very enthusiastic about the cubism of Laurens and introduced him to Léonce Rosenberg, who presented Laurens’ first solo exhibition in Paris in 1918. Rosenberg obtained several pieces and came to support Laurens for a long time. After this first exhibition, which got good reviews, many shows followed in the 1920s, especially at the legendary Galerie Simon, which after the first world war was re-opened by Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler after his exile in Switzerland. Many works were influenced by the cubistic work of Jaques Lipchitz and the aesthetics of African art. Laurens also managed to bring nature into his sculptures and developed an organic, curvy style that created abstract, rhythmic figures, foremost naked, poetic and strong women. In bronze, terracotta and stone, Laurens shaped the standing, sitting and lying woman. His expression softened and the shapes condensed over the years.
The sculpture ’Torse’, for sale in this auction, was executed in 1925 and has a provenance that originates from Galerie Simon, 29 bis, Rue d’Astorg, Paris.