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T02320 TWO BATHERS 1934
Plaster cast, 10 5/8 × 10 1/4 × 7 1/4 (27 × 26 × 18.6)
Presented by Eugene Rosenberg 1978
Prov: Eugene Rosenberg, Prague and London (purchased from the artist 1936)
Lit: John I. H. Baur in exh. catalogue Bernard Reder, Whitney Museum, New York, September–November 1961 and tour, pp.14–15, pewter cast repr. as cat. no.29
Executed in Prague, where Reder lived from 1930 to 1937 and where he established his mature style. His dominant theme at this time was the female nude and he worked mainly at stone carving. However this particular work appears to be one of several small sculptures modelled for bronze casting, which have a more sensuous quality than the stones. A cast in pewter then in the collection of Mr and Mrs Joseph D. Isaacson was included in his retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum, New York, in 1961 and is reproduced in the catalogue with the title and date ‘Two Bathers’ 1934. This plaster cast was bought from the artist in Prague by Eugene Rosenberg, who had a bronze cast made from it in England just after the war which is still in his possession. As far as is known, there are no versions on a larger scale.
The rounded, full forms and compact grouping accord with Reder's preoccupation with the importance of volume and ‘all-sidedness’. ‘Objects in nature are volumetric, all-sided,’ he wrote; ‘therefore axiomatic, not theoretical. All views of volumetric sculpture and all approaches to it - from around, above, below - are of the same importance. They have the axiomatic value of the sphere and require no theoretical explanations. In the volumetric approach to sculpture, none of its views can escape the control of the sculptor, the observance of the spectator.’ (From a statement published in the Whitney Museum catalogue, p.7).
The Tate Gallery 1978-80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981