Artist biography

Henri Laurens 1885-1954

French sculptor, and maker of papiers collés and prints. Born in Paris. Apprenticed to an ornamental sculptor in whose workshop he learnt direct stone carving; also studied at evening classes under an academic sculptor 'Père Perrin'. In 1911 met Braque, who became a life-long friend, and was initiated by him in Cubism. Began in 1915 to make polychrome constructions of still life in wood and iron, etc., and from 1916 a series of papiers collés; these were followed from c.1918-19 by terracottas and later bronzes, often in low-relief, of figures and still life in a Cubist spirit. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie de l'Effort Moderne, Paris, 1916. His figures gradually developed more rounded volumes and from c.1931-2 curvilinear, rhythmical movement: sculptures of bathers, sirens, etc., sometimes on a life-size scale. Made illustrations for various books, including woodcuts for Les Idylles of Theocritus 1945. Large retrospective exhibition at the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, 1951. Awarded the Grand Prix at the 1953 São Paulo Bienal. Died in Paris.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.410