Amon Carter print details

Head (Abstraction)

Robert Laurent (1890-1970)

Object Details

  • Date


  • Object Type


  • Medium


  • Dimensions

    15 x 8 x 6 in.

  • Inscriptions


    incised on base l.l.: LAURENT

  • Credit Line

    Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

  • Accession Number


  • Copyright

    Public domain

Object Description

During the early 20th century, Laurent and other emerging sculptors rejected conventional modeling and casting practices associated with bronze sculpture, choosing instead to carve directly into wood or stone. Practitioners of direct carving, as the technique came to be known, claimed that it offered a more intimate and authentic relationship to one’s chosen materials, and they viewed it as a rejection of mechanized, industrial forms of working life.

Laurent, a French-American sculptor, helped to popularize direct carving in the United States. To create Head (Abstraction), he worked from a block of mahogany, allowing the grain of the wood to inform how and where he carved the piece. The artist later claimed that intuition alone guided the composition of this work. “It turned out abstract,” he said. “I didn’t mean it to be. It was a head of a girl. I saw shapes and I followed them.”

—Text taken from the Carter Handbook (2023)

Additional details

Location: On view
See more by Robert Laurent


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