Gaston Lachaise “Man/Woman” exhibition in Portland Art Museum

Since i was in Portland, i could not pass on an opportunity to go to one of the oldest museums in United States, Portland Art Museum. The exhibition that i really wanted to see was called “Man/Woman” by Gaston Lachaise.

The exhibition surveys Lachaise’s lifetime production and his complex and powerful celebration of woman – heroic, monumental, sensual, earthy and erotic, – as well as sample of work with more nude and insightful portrait busts.

Man/Woman reveals Lachaise as a sculptor of a ripe and vital maturity, whose art paved the way for twentieth century abstraction…

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The Elevation may not be declined: it should not and cannot be seen; as a super Wagnerian poem of flesh, a graceful colossal music” – from 1920 review of Lachaise exhibition by E.E.Cummings.

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“His women were goddesses, idols to be worshiped rather than earthbound realities” – by art critic and historian Barbara Rose 1991

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“In Lachaise the mold of the classical tradition is broken – broken one may say, by a sense of life too forceful and too confident, to unbounded, to contain it” – Hilton Kramer

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“In the dark night, man and woman lie side by side on the bare earth – naked before eternity” – Maxwell Armfield commenting on Dans La Nuit, 1905

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“Lachaise followed his aesthetic demon like a true artist and his demon was perfection, ideality, the reality of ideal experience in life first of all. He was a romantic poet besides, a kind of lyric architect of a human from who saw the entire universe in the form of  a woman” – from the essay on Lachaise, 1939, by painter Marsden Hartley.

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