Robert Laurent (American, 1890-1970), Lamentation, 1946.
Limestone, 25 inches.
Robert Laurent's limestone sculpture Lamentation (1946) was acquired in January 2011 during the High's annual Collectors' Evening event for the Museum's American art collection. Laurent was at the forefront of new trends and is often considered a link between the classicism of Beaux Arts sculptors and the abstractionists. His work is relatively rare, with much of it existing either in monumental size as public art or scattered among public and private collections.
Lamentation was inspired by a dance of the same title choreographed by Martha Graham in 1930, in which the dancer is dressed in a sheath that at times covers and absorbs her entire body. For Laurent, as for Graham, the expression of Lamentation was intended to cross cultural boundaries and probe at the universal experience of grief. It is the first work by Robert Laurent to enter the High's collection and complements the elegant, stylized forms of John Flannigan, William Zorach and Paul Manship; the cubist composition of Berta Margoulies; and the abstract work by Theodore Roszak already in the collection.