Henri Laurens


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Henri Laurens (Paris, 1885 – Paris, 1954), best known for his sculptures, ventured into collage art during his Cubist phase, especially between 1916 and 1920, in which spatial and flat

works emerged. These early works reflected the themes and techniques of his fellow cubists such as Picasso and Braque, often with fragmented shapes and contrasting textures. He incorporated various materials such as paper, cardboard and fabric and sometimes even painted and drew directly on the collage elements.

The exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in 1985-86, titled “Henri Laurens: Papiers collés, dessins, sculptures” highlighted this lesser-known aspect of Laurens’ artistry. It showed his collages alongside drawings and sculptures and offered a comprehensive exploration of his artistic development within the Cubist movement. This exhibition probably brought renewed appreciation of Laurens’ diverse talents and his unique contribution to the Cubist legacy.

The work Tête, 1915 is addressed to Josette Gris, the wife of Juan Gris, who notably painted a cubist portrait of her in 1916 (Portrait of Madame Josette Gris), now in the collection of the Museo Reina Sofia. Tête, 1915 is included in the 1985 catalogue of the Centre Pompidou, including a text by Isabelle Monod-Fontaine, see page 39.