Arnold Auerbach

Torso Form


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Not on display

Arnold Auerbach 1898–1978
Object: 815 × 195 × 146 mm
Presented by Galerie Huber und Reichard and Mrs Jean M. Auerbach, the artist's widow 1985

Catalogue entry

Arnold Auerbach1898-1978

T04112 Torso Form 1928

Bronze 815 x 195 x 146 (32 1/8 x 7 3/4 x 5 3/4)
Cast inscription ‘Auerbach E.A.I.' on rear of base
Presented by Galerie Huber und Reichard and Mrs Jean M. Auerbach, the artist's widow 1985
Lit: Arnold Auerbach, exh. cat., Galerie Huber and Reichard, 1984, pp.15-16, repr. cover and p.17

Although differing greatly in style, ‘Torso Form' was completed in the same year as ‘Mechanical Head' (see T04111). Like ‘Mechanical Head' the original plaster was not cast until after the artist's death, when an edition of eight bronzes were cast by the Venturi Arte foundry, Bologna. The plaster model was retained by the artist's widow.

Female torsos of this type - without head and arms and standing on a plinth at thigh or knee level - were in vogue during the late 1920s and a notable example of a similar composition is Torso by Frank Dobson, which was also made in 1928 (repr. Frank Dobson 1886-1963 True and Pure Sculpture, AC tour, Kettle's Yard Gallery, Cambridge, July-Aug. 1981 [p.26] no.46). Both Auerbach and Dobson may have been inspired in their treatment of the subject by Archipenko's ‘White Torso' 1912 (repr. Alexander Archipenko, exh. cat., Moderne Galerie des Saarland-Museums, Saarbrücken 1986, p.77 no.32) and Gaudier- Brzeska's ‘Torso', 1914 (T03731, repr. Tate Gallery Acquisitions 1982-4, 1986, p.173). Auerbach created several works on the theme of the female form, particularly during the 1920s and 1930s. ‘Torso Form' concludes a phase during which, in works such as ‘Female Torso' 1924 (repr. René Richard, Arnold Auerbach, Offenbach Am Main 1984, p.14 pl.10) and ‘Standing Nude' 1926 (repr. ibid., p.15 pl.11), Auerbach's interest in form was centred on its volumetric aspects and anatomical details were simplified to the point of suggestion only, created by areas of shallow relief. Such works have a massive quality which tended increasingly towards a more simplified formal vocabulary. ‘Torso Form', although lighter and more slender in its treatment of volume, continued this development by utilising forms which had attained a greater degree of refinement. Thereafter Auerbach's female figures reverted to a more naturalistic representation.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, pp.90-1

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