Femme à l'oiseau [Woman with a bird]

Henri LAURENS: artist

Not On Display

About the work

At the age of fourteen Laurens was apprenticed to a carver-decorator and worked as a stonemason carving ornamental decorations on buildings. Although he had no formal art training he began to model in clay, taking Auguste Rodin as an example.

In 1911, when he was making sculpture with a medieval influence, he met Georges Braque and other cubists and began to study that movement. By 1913 he had mastered the cubist theory of simultaneous viewing of different facets of the subject and from then until 1919 produced cubist works based on the interplay of geometric shapes, principally still lifes in relief. In these constructions he used wood, sheet metal, plaster, terracotta and stone, often polychromed to embody a mingling of painting and sculpture.

From 1920 Laurens modified the angular geometrical characteristics of cubism and introduced curved soft forms moving towards his personal, lyrical style, embracing variations of the female figure. His stress on the interplay of contorted curves results in distortion of these elongated figures, if thought of as representation, but they contain a spirit analogous to musical rhythm and harmony, recreating within themselves balance, life and growth, developing the relationship between both the forms and the space which envelopes them.

Laurens made use of themes from Greek mythology as an illustrator as well as in three dimensional works, being a sculptor, painter, graphic artist and sensitive friend of poets.

Ella Fry, Gallery Images, St George Books, Perth, 1984
Femme à l'oiseau [Woman with a bird]
Artist/Maker and role
Henri LAURENS: artist
late 1920s
earthenware ceramic
34.4 x 10.8 x 6.8 cm
Credit line
Purchased 1965
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the sculptures in our collection.