15 x 8 x 6 in.
incised on base l.l.: LAURENT
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
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)
We the People: Picturing American IdentityJune 15–September 8, 2013
This exhibition focuses on the fluidity of national identity through the creations of American artists, particularly in key moments in history when the definition of a singular American identity was challenged and ultimately reshaped.
A New American Sculpture, 1914-1945: Lachaise, Laurent, Nadelman, and ZorachFebruary 17–May 13, 2018
A New American Sculpture investigates the integral relationships between modernism, classicism, and popular imagery in the sculpture of these four immigrant artists, showing how they redefined sculpture’s expressive potential during this rapidly changing time.