Henri Laurens

Date/place of birth

1885 Paris

Day/place of death

1954 Paris

Henri Laurens - Femme couchée (de face)
Henri Laurens - Femme couchée (de face)

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Henri Laurens biography

After learning the trade of a decorative sculptor, Henri Laurens initially worked as a stonemason. Even at the age of 17 he felt drawn to Paris's Bohemian quarter of Montmartre where, in 1905, he met his future wife Marthe and where his son Claude was born in 1908. His artistic development in those years was substantially impacted not only by his initial study of Rodin, with whom he eventually did not feel related to, but also by his contact with Georges Braque who was to become a lifelong friend and who introduced him to Pablo Picasso. He created his first small Cubist figures from painted wood and plaster in 1915 – works which are still in existence today. In 1916 he experimented with freely designed constructions, combining a variety of materials such as wood with iron and wood with plaster. He also produced his first paper collages. Laurens's sculptural works and prints substantially impacted each other. In 1917/18 solo exhibitions were held for him by Léonce Rosenberg, and shortly afterwards he also attracted Kahnweiler's attention. In 1919 his abstract experiments were complemented by first reliefs and sculptures made from terracotta and stone, often painted. During the 1920s he returned to figurative work again, while at the same time frequently carrying out architectural and decorative work. From 1921 to 1935 Laurens lived partly in Paris and partly in L'Étang-la-Ville, not far from Aristide Maillol. His female stone and terracotta nudes began to acquire clear, calm contours and more rounded shapes. In 1936/37 he produced his last Cubist works on the occasion of the Paris World Exposition. During the latter half of the 1930s his repertoire of forms very clearly shifted towards organic, biomorphous bodies with flowing, soft contours. His late works include many bronze sculptures, with numerous animal-man metamorphoses that relate to mythological themes from antiquity. After the war Laurens' works were honoured at a large number of national and international exhibitions. He is considered to be one of the most important representatives of modern sculpture.

© Kunsthaus Lempertz

Henri Laurens Prices

ArtistArtworkPrice
Henri LaurensFemme couchée (de face)€45.000
Henri LaurensFemme debout aux bras levés€5.490
Henri LaurensLiegender Akt€3.332
Henri LaurensFemme Accroupie€1.666
Henri LaurensFemme assise à la jambe levée€1.652
Henri LaurensValencia€1.200

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