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Sensual Lines: American Figurative Drawings

November 2, 2000 – January 13, 2001


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Artists


Press Release

Artists included in this exhibition: Paul Cadmus, John Graham, Gaston Lachaise, Elie Nadelman, Louise Nevelson, and Pavel Tchelitchew

Sensual Lines: American Figurative Drawings is a group exhibition which features master drawings by six of the most gifted draftsmen of the twentieth century: Paul Cadmus, John Graham, Gaston Lachaise, Elie Nadelman, Louise Nevelson, and Pavel Tchelitchew. All of the drawings included in this exhibition depict the human figure, and while each artist has his or her own distinctive style, the works share a common sensibility: an intense interest in capturing the human form and spirit.

Stylized and provocative, the graphite drawings of Elie Nadelman and Gaston Lachaise are rooted in classicism; they carry a clear affinity to the better-known sculptural works by these artists which grace many public spaces including The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Lincoln

Center. John Graham, known for his bizarre renderings of women, believed that “portrait with likeness as an aim, cannot be a work of art.” As such, he integrated his diverse interests in magic, reincarnation, mythology and philosophy into his subjects. Like Graham, Pavel Tchelitchew, one of the leading neo-Romantic painters of the 1920s, focused on the introspective nature of his sitters, and although he favored subjects known to him, he often captured acrobats, dancers and circus performers. The muscular nude drawings of Paul Cadmus, a master of anatomical precision, are suggestive and erotic. While Cadmus focused almost exclusively on the male nude, Louise Nevelson favored the female form and during the 1930s - before she became a world-renowned sculptor - she made delicate ink drawings of the female nude that are elegant in their simplicity.