The Split-Up: The Beginning of a New Art in America
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Sometime between 1900 and 1903, the Paris-born and trained sculptor, Gaston Lachaise, encountered Canadian-American Isabel Nagle, the woman who was to have a profound impact on his personal and artistic life. Describing her as a “majestic” in spite of her modest stature, Lachaise fell under her spell, following her to Boston and New York, where they finally married in 1917. From their first meeting, she served as his muse and as the model for the majority of his bold, sumptuous, and expressive sculpture. From the artist’s first New York exhibition, critical acclaim and patron support built Lachaise’s reputation as one of America’s foremost early twentieth-century sculptors.
The Addison owns two small sculptures by Lachaise that, even in their small scale, exhibit the sculptor’s mastery of form. <i>Head of a Woman</i>, purchased from Madame Lachaise in 1938, is a serene if diminutive study for a never-realized twenty- two-foot statue planned for an interior niche in the AT&T building in New York. While also small in size, <i>Seated Woman</i>, a posthumous casting donated by the Lachaise Foundation in 1995, has the hallmarks of Lachaise’s mature sculpture. The substantial fully-round female figure with arms folded across her nude chest, hair wrapped tightly and topped by a comb, has an architectonic presence. She sits in motionless calm, while the cape which drapes over her chair acts as a swirling counterpoint to her solidity, its powerful folds serving as the support for the sculpture.
This object was included in the following exhibitions:The Sculptor's Approach, Addison Gallery of American Art, 00/00/00 - 00/00/00
Terms of Criticism, Addison Gallery of American Art, 00/00/00 - 5/10/1965
Modern Sculpture, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, 5/12/1947 - 6/5/1947
Scope in Collecting [25th Anniversary Exhibition], Addison Gallery of American Art, 10/19/1956 - 12/24/1956
Terms of Criticism, Addison Gallery of American Art, 7/26/1963 - 12/23/1963
Gaston Lachaise, 1882-1935: Sculpture and Drawings, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 12/3/1963 - 1/19/1964
Now and Then: The Collector's Changing Taste, Governor Dummer Academy, 10/29/1964 - 12/15/1964
Terms of Criticism, Addison Gallery of American Art, 7/15/1966 - 10/3/1966
Terms of Criticism, Addison Gallery of American Art, 7/18/1969 - 10/19/1969
The Split-Up: The Beginning of a New Art in America, Addison Gallery of American Art, 3/13/1981 - 4/12/1981
Presence of the Past: Decorative Arts at Phillips Academy, Addison Gallery of American Art, 1/21/1995 - 3/19/1995
Sculpture in Context, Addison Gallery of American Art, 4/17/1999 - 7/31/1999
Art and Craft, Addison Gallery of American Art, 4/30/2005 - 7/31/2005
Taking Shape: Sculpture at the Addison, Addison Gallery of American Art, 9/17/2016 - 3/19/2017
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