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$ 3,200

Nymph and Goat

Documentation Signed
Origin United States
Period 1950-1979
Materials Ink and wash on heavy paper
Dimensions
W. 30 in; H. 41.5 in;
W. 76.2 cm; H. 105.41 cm;
Condition Good. Good condition with some minor creasing to paper
Creation Date C. 1970
Description A large whimsical work featuring a Nymph and Goat.
The work has dynamic brushwork and a great presence.
It is framed under plexi and it actually hung in the Barcelona Restaurant in Greenwich, Ct for many years.
Framed measurements are 49.5 x 38.5 inches.

Abstract Expressionist* sculptor, Reuben Nakian was born in College Point, New York. Before 1911, he had briefly studied art before going to work for an advertising agency. In 1915 he attended, possibly one of the only schools at the time to have students studying modernist art, the Independent School of Art in New York City. He then went on to study at the Robert Henri School* with Homer Boss and A.S. Baylinson. He also studied at the Art Students League*, apprenticed to Paul Manship, from 1916-1920, where he met Gaston Lachaise and became his studio assistant.

Beginning his career as a sculptor, Nakian associated with other Abstract Expressionists, becoming friends of Arshile Gorky and Willem DeKooning. This group of artist friends soon became the subject of a series of portrait busts in the early 1930s. He became famous in 1934 for his eight-foot-high plaster statue of Babe Ruth, which was later destroyed. He was commissioned to create busts of Franklin D. Roosevelt and members of his cabinet, and in 1936 Nakian joined the WPA*, Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project.

Throughout his career he came to focus on erotic abstractions of the female figure, frequently inspired by the mythology of ancient Greece and Rome, reinterpreted for the 20th century. Occurring themes are nymphs, mystic lovemaking, and charged encounters between humans and animals.

During his seventy-five year career as an artist he taught sculpture at the Newark Fine Arts and Industrial Arts College and at Pratt Institute* in New York City. A prolific sculptor, he worked in stone, terracotta, plaster, steel, and bronze. In the mid-1950s, Nakian began creating on a much larger scale, working more abstractly with coarse-textured bronze surfaces, which was his preferred medium. Nakian was very active until his death in 1986.

Nakian had his first major retrospective at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1962, soon followed by a major exhibition curated by Frank O'Hara (who also wrote the essay for the substantial catalogue illustrating more than 100 of Nakian's works) at the Museum of Modern Art in NY in 1966.

Reuben Nakian's work has been shown in museums and galleries around the world, with a major traveling exhibition to celebrate the centennial of his birth in 1997 and 1998 that showed at the Reading Public Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.
Styles / Movements Modernism
Incollect Reference Number 341940
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