© DR Œuvre en rapport : El. Nadelman, Tête Vente Aguttes 26 mars 2014, adjugé 140 250 € TTC
© DR Œuvre en rapport : El. Nadelman, Tête de femme (Yoke), vers 1908
Œuvre présentée: El. Nadelman, Tête de jeune femme
Born into a modest Jewish family in Warsaw in 1882, Elie Nadelman had early exposure to the arts, especially music and drawing. In 1904, at 18 years of age, Nadelman won the Chopin contest held by the monthly Franco-Polish magazine Sztuka, based in Paris. Before reaching France’s capital, Nadelman sojourned in Munich. Like most young sculptors of the early 20th century, his first works bore the marks of Rodin and Symbolism, which Nadelman could see in Bavaria, imbued with impressions from the Secession. However, his art soon developed and he departed from his early influences. This change is particularly discernible in his deliberate return to classicism and a certain simplification of forms, opposed to the swirls and expressionism sometimes associated with Rodin. Thus, from the years 1909-1910, Nadelman reached a high pureness and sobriety of forms. This change can be linked to his interest in and relationship with the vanguard milieus of Paris, the Cubists, and the School of Paris with artists such as Brancusi and Modigliani.
Our Head of a Woman very much moves in the direction of a synthesis between the upholders of modernity in the early twentieth century - perceptible in the face’s slender, geometric features - and a return to ancient traditions, similar to that undertaken by artists such as Bourdelle and Maillol - with a sensitive subject and the material recalling timeless busts in white marble. It is part of the set of Classical Heads carved by Nadelman at different stages of his career. The face of the woman, whose closed eyes lend gentleness and serenity, appears as the expression of harmony and elegance often reached in Nadelman’s compositions. The smooth surfaces of the skin are counterbalanced by the hair’s notches, incised regularly along the skull’s oval circumference. Thanks to its preeminent sculptural and aesthetic qualities, our bust of a woman appears as a modern muse of ideal, timeless beauty.