09-26-2019 09-27-2019
Skinner Auctions
Skinner Auctions Boston MA
3293B Boston
September 26, 2019 06:00 PMCalender

Robert Laurent (American, 1890-1970) Seated Figure

Auction: American & European Works of Art - 3293B Location: Boston Date / Time: September 27, 2019 12:00PM


Robert Laurent (American, 1890-1970)

Seated Figure
Signed "LAURENT" on the bottom edge, dated to 1953 in the exhibition catalog The Robert Laurent Memorial Exhibition (see below).
Alabaster, height 12 in. (30.3 cm).
Condition: Small chip at the lower edge of the base beneath the figure's right toes, minor dust and grime, drilled on the underside to accept a rod for a plinth.

Provenance: From the artist to John Laurent, through to the current owner.

Exhibitions: The Robert Laurent Memorial Exhibition, 1972-1973, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire; The Weatherspoon Art Gallery, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana; cat. no. 73.

N.B. As a youth in Brittany, Robert Laurent loved the abundance of granite sculpture found in the region. His latent artistic talent had been recognized by Hamilton Easter Field, the American artist and patron who became his teacher and mentor. Seeing the work of Aristide Maillot in Paris in 1905, Laurent was inspired to become a sculptor. Subsequently studying in Rome, he was introduced to carving in wood. He soon developed a talent for carving fine frames, which he supplied to many leading artists of the day. Laurent's earliest sculptures were decorative panels and figural work inspired by African art and European Modernists. He did not care for modeling in clay but found inspiration in direct carving. His first one-man sculpture exhibition at the Bourgeois Gallery in New York in 1922 included works in wood, stone, and alabaster. Alabaster became his preferred medium, admired for its transparency which he said gave it life and vibration. At this period also he found focus in his preferred subject, the female figure, in part guided by the works of Gaston Lachaise. By the 1950s, Laurent developed a new style characterized by flatter, more angular forms inspired by Cubism and, more specifically, by the work of Georges Braque. (1)

1. The paragraph above was based upon information in the essay by Peter V. Moak in The Robert Laurent Memorial Exhibition, exhibition catalog, published by the University of New Hampshire, 1972-1973. A copy of the catalog accompanies the lot.
Estimate $10,000-15,000

There are scattered very shallow lines of abrasion (these may be inherent to the material).

Items may have wear and tear, imperfections, or the effects of aging. Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Gaston Lachaise, John Laurent, Peter V. Moak, Aristide Maillot, Paris, Field, Indianapolis