Henri Laurens, 1920, Le Petit boxeur, 43 cm, reproduced in Život 2 (1922), p 53
Henri Laurens, 1920, Le Petit boxeur, 43 cm, reproduced in Život 2 (1922), p 53
Henri Laurens, Céline Arnauld, reproduced in Tournevire, Edition de L'Esprit Nouveau, 1919[1]
Henri Laurens, Céline Arnauld, reproduced in Tournevire, Edition de L'Esprit Nouveau, 1919[1]

Henri Laurens (February 18, 1885 – May 5, 1954) was a French sculptor and illustrator.

Early life and education

Born in Paris, Henri Laurens worked as a stonemason before he became a sculptor. From 1899 to 1902, he attended drawing classes at the École d'Art Industriel,[2] during which he produced works that were greatly influenced by the popularity of Auguste Rodin.

Career

Later Laurens was drawn to a new gathering of artistic creativity in Montparnasse. From 1915, he began to sculpt in the Cubist style after meeting Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris and Fernand Léger.[3]

Laurens was exempted from call-up for the First World War, after having a leg amputated in 1909 due to osteo-tuberculosis.[4]

L'Amphion located at the Central University of Venezuela, Caracas

Multi-talented, Laurens worked with poster paint, and collage. He was an engraver, and created theatre design and decoration. In 1915, he illustrated a book for his friend, the author Pierre Reverdy.

In 1937, he was awarded the Helena Rubinstein Prize, which brought him in additional commissions.[5] In 1938, he shared an exhibition with Braque and Picasso that travelled to major Scandinavian cities. In 1947, he made prints for book illustrations. In 1948, he exhibited his art at the important international Venice Biennale. That same year, he exhibited at the Galerie d'Art Moderne in Basel, Switzerland.

Many of his sculptures are massive objects. An example of this style is the monumental piece L'Amphion, which he first designed on a smaller scale before created the final version in 1952 for the Central University of Venezuela, Caracas, after a request from the architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva.[5]

Laurens' sculptural work influenced the work of architect Jørn Utzon, famous for the Sydney Opera House, in particular Laurens' tomb for an aviator designed for the cemetery of Montparnasse, Paris, in 1924.[6]

Death

Henri Laurens died in Paris, after collapsing while out on an evening walk,[5] and was interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse there. His tomb is decorated with his sculpture, La Douleur.

See also

Crystal Cubism

References

  1. ^ Henri Laurens, in Celine Arnauld, Tournevire: Roman. Paris: Editions de "L'Esprit nouveau", 1919, p. 6. The International Dada Archive, The University of Iowa Libraries
  2. ^ "Henri Laurens". Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  3. ^ Christopher Green, Cubism and its Enemies, Modern Movements and Reaction in French Art, 1916–1928, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1987, p. 23.
  4. ^ Cooper, Philip. Cubism. London: Phaidon, 1995, p. 114. ISBN 0714832502
  5. ^ a b c Georges Braque (1964). Georges Braque (1882-1963), Henri Laurens (1885-1954): Drawings, Gouaches and Collages. J.P.L. Fine Arts. p. 22.
  6. ^ Frampton, Kenneth (1995). Studies in Tectonic Culture. London: The MIT Press. pp. 277, 279. ISBN 0-262-56149-2.