Henri Gaudier-Brzeska

On a wet day in Leeds I had a small encounter with Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, the young artist-sculptor whose prodigious talent was cut short by WWI.

This exhibition, at Harewood House, is a cut-down version of the one from Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge that I missed earlier in the year.

The key pieces of sculpture were The Firebird, Redstone Dancer and The Dancer . According to Chris Stevens at The Tate, the Hieretic Head of Ezra Pound is considered to his greatest work, but having these three pieces on the same room, may dispute that claim. They were quite beautiful to view, even under glass. The Firebird, in particular, was quite beautiful, showing the moment that the Prince has captured the Firebird who is about to beg for her life.
The Redstone Dancer is a complete contrast in that Gaudier-Brzeska has been influenced by cubism and primativism and has reduced the features to shapes. However there is a sensuous feel to the curves of this piece and it is easy to see why he became such an influence to sculptors such as Hepworth and Moore.