The Fuller Building, 41 East 57th Street, 9th Floor New York City, NY 10022 , United States Call Seller 212.535.8810

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Study for Sculpture

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  • Description
    In 1947, Theodore Roszak, one of America’s foremost sculptors of the mid-twentieth century, created “Study for Sculpture” as a preliminary work for “Wings [The Raven],” a bronze sculpture that can also be found at Hirschl & Adler Galleries. Theodore Roszak rose to prominence during the 1930s, when he began creating innovative machine-like constructions that reflected his knowledge of Cubism, Constructivism, and the teachings of the Bauhaus. But by the mid-1940s, Roszak’s sculptures had become increasingly fascinated with the biomorphic forms and gestural methods associated with Surrealism. He subsequently rejected his geometric constructivist style for a freer and more expressionistic approach, shifting his attention from form to content as he responded to the savagery of war and a new desire to convey the human experience in thought-provoking, even disturbing, ways––concerns that would make his mature work dark, haunting, and decidedly individualistic.

    Roszak’s postwar aesthetic is demonstrated to perfection in this study. At first glance, the work brings to mind a prehistoric raptor with outspread wings, its body exaggerated and distorted. However, like other abstract expressionists, Roszak often referenced the work of poets and writers, such as Herman Melville and Edgar Allen Poe. In this instance, he was inspired by “The Raven,” Poe’s dramatic poem of 1845, in which a young man’s grief over the premature death of his lover, Lenore, is heightened by a talking raven, whose refrain, “Nevermore,” is a sad reminder that she will never return to him and his despair will endure. In “Wings (The Raven),” the avian motif is obvious, but there is a humanizing component to the image, too. Indeed, Roszak’s skillful handling of form and space also provides us with a visual reference to a woman’s anatomy, giving us a sense that the bird and Lenore are one––a fictive hybrid that conveys the pathos and tragedy of lost love.
  • More Information
    Documentation: Signed
    Period: 1920-1949
    Materials: Gouache on paper.
    Creation Date: 1947
    Styles / Movements: Modernism
    Incollect Reference #: 105357
  • Dimensions
    W. 14.5 in; H. 20.5 in;
    W. 36.83 cm; H. 52.07 cm;
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