Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

Red Stone Dancer

c.1913

Medium
Red Mansfield stone
Dimensions
Object: 432 x 229 x 229 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by C. Frank Stoop through the Contemporary Art Society 1930
Reference
N04515

Display caption

Gaudier was born in France but spent most of his tragically brief adult career in London. He was an important pioneer in the revival of carving in sculpture.This sculpture is perhaps his most important work, and demonstrates his use of a more abstract style. The poet Ezra Pound described it as ‘almost a thesis of his ideas upon the use of pure form’. It also shows Gaudier’s interest in ‘primitive’ cultures, through artefacts he saw at the British Museum. These sources, together with the undulating movement of the dance, give the figure a sense of erotic power.

Gallery label, July 2007

Catalogue entry

N04515 RED STONE DANCER c. 1913
 
Inscr. ‘H G B’ (in monogram) at the back of the base.
Red Mansfield stone, polished and waxed, 17×9×9 (43×23×23).
Presented by C. Frank Stoop through the Contemporary Art Society 1930.
Coll: As for No.4514.
Exh: Grafton Group, Alpine Club Gallery, January 1914 (50); London Group, March 1915 (113); Twentieth Century Art, Whitechapel Art Gallery, May 1914 (113); Vorticist Exhibition, Doré Galleries, June 1915 (c); Leicester Galleries, May–June 1918 (72); Temple Newsam, Leeds, June–August 1943 (75); Orléans, March–April 1956 (14, repr.); Arts Council, 1956–7 (24).
Lit: Pound, 1916, pp.161, 164, repr. pls.5 and 6; Ede, 1930, p.177, repr. pl.38; Gaudier in Ede, 1930, pp.198–9.

Probably carved late in 1913, though Gaudier dated it 1914. According to Ede, Gaudier likened this work to Ezra Pound's poems, while Pound relates the carving to certain drawings such as those reproduced as his pl.25 and Ede, 1931, pls.52 and 56.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I