By the autumn of 1913, his friendships with T. E Hulme, Ezra Pound and Epstein all combined to propel him in the direction of greater bareness and a proto-geometrical simplification. Pound supported the impoverished Gaudier-Brzeska in a practical way, too, not only by purchasing carvings but also by presenting him with a block of marble for a specially commissioned portrait..
There was also a vein of impish humour in Gaudier-Brzeska's work. Even the Hieratic Head of Ezra Pound could be seen, especially from the rear, as a circumcised phallus.
His work was illustrated in the magazine Blast. Gaudier-Brzeska's final sculptures can not be described as wholly Vorticist in their implications. One of the finest is a tall carving that seems to move away from mechanistic rigidity towards a rather more organic language. He explained that ‘Sculptural energy is the mountain./Sculptural feeling is the appreciation of masses in relation./Sculptural ability is the defining of these masses by planes.' This credo did not, however, prevent Gaudier-Brzeska from carving a serenely sensual Seated Woman in white marble, which displayed his continuing involvement with the figurative tradition. Soon after its completion Gaudier-Brzeska joined the French Army and was killed in action.
Obituary, Blast, 2 (1915), p. 34
R. Fry: ‘Gaudier-Brzeska', Burl. Mag., xxix (1916)
E. Pound: Gaudier-Brzeska: A Memoir by Ezra Pound (London, 1916)
H. S. Ede: A Life of Gaudier-Brzeska (London, 1930; rev. as Savage Messiah: A Biography of the Sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (London, 2/1971)
H. Brodzky: Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, 1891–1915 (London, 1933)
M. Levy: Gaudier-Brzeska: Drawings and Sculpture (London, 1965)
R. Cork: Vorticism and Abstract Art in the First Machine Age, 2 vols (London, 1975–6)
R. Cole: Burning to Speak: The Life and Art of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (London, 1978)
F. Koslow: The Graphic Work of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (diss., Boston U., 1981)
R. Cork: ‘Henri Gaudier and Ezra Pound: A Friendship', Henri Gaudier and Ezra Pound (exh. cat. by R. Cork, London, Anthony d'Offay Gal., 1982)
Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Sculptor, 1891–1915 (exh. cat., ed. J. Lewison; U. Cambridge, Kettle's Yard; 1983)
Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (exh. cat., Orléans, Mus. B.-A., 1993)
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