Sculpture by William Zorach


We have work by William Zorach. He was
born in Lithuania and came to the United States in the 1890s as a four-year-old
child. He was known for carving pieces directly into wood or stone and we have
this example here of his own cat and it’s carved out of what we call
Tennessee marble. There’s an identical version in the Metropolitan Museum of
Art that’s gray and carved in granite. The surface is really nice; it’s smooth,
and I think it’s a great example of the sort of simplified forms that we find in
the 20th Century Modernist movement. And he has a sort of presence and a regal
quality that reminds me of the kinds of cats that you see in Egyptian tombs.
Through the skill and artistic craftsmanship of Zorach, he was able to
show that figure that was lurking inside of this block of marble. Here’s a little piece in bronze. We have this wonderful, wonderful depiction of a sleeping dog.
It’s very compact; sometimes people don’t even see what the figure is. It looks
like it might have been a found object, like a piece of stone that all he had to
do was, you know, make a few little incised lines to come up with the figure
itself.

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