Description & Technical information

In the winter of 1912, Laurens discovered in the studio of his friend Georges Braque, inventor of Cubism, a striking series of papiers collés, with a broad range of shapes and materials, daring juxtaposed planes and opposed values. Henri Laurens' cubist adventure started at that

From 1915, the artist executed numerous drawings and
collages representing heads, often female, without it being possible to attribute them to individual models. There are in their vast majority studies showing the dexterity of the artist in building a face from geometrical elements. The papier collé thus becomes a perfectly balances exploration of space, which will be the one of his sculptures.

The economy of means, the formal restriction and the poetic efficiency of the papers of that time characterize our Tête de femme from 1917.

The color plays a significant role : it freezes the distribution of shade and light.
The use of paper cuts indicates volumes which are materialized by the abstract contrasts of brown, ocher and white enhanced with charcoal in our work.

After 1919, Laurens stopped producing papier collés.
However, in the three-dimensional sculptures of the beginning of the 1920s, the artist continued to explore the composition effects of the cut and layered planes that he had studied first in his collages.

Furthermore, our work was notably shown at the major exhibition of the Centre Pompidou : Henri Laurens, Le cubisme : construction et papiers collés, 1915-1919, from December 18th 1985 to February 16th 1986 and is illustrated in the exhibition catalogue under the n°50, p.59.
It was also exhibited at the Musée de l'Annonciade in Saint-Tropez during the show Braque et Laurens, 40 années d'amitié from June 10th to October 8th 2017 and is illustrated in the exhibition catalogue page p.20 and listed p.89.

Date:  1917
Period:  20th century
Origin:  France
Medium: Papier collé and charcoal on paper
Dimensions: 50 x 35 cm (19⁵/₈ x 13³/₄ inches)
Provenance: Jeanne Bucher Gallery, Paris.
Melki Gallery, Paris, 1975 (label on the back).
Beyeler Gallery, Basel, 1976.                                                                          
Multitud Gallery, Madrid, n°569-D (label on the back).
Ida Chagall Collection, Paris.


Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt-am-Main, Collagen aus sechs Jahrzehnten, Exhibition Catalogue, 1968, illustrated under the n°30.
Académie de France à Rome, Henri Laurens, Exhibition Catalogue, Roma, De Luca Editore, 1980, illustrated under the n°8, p.41.
Centre national d'art et de culture Georges-Pompidou
, Henri Laurens, Le cubisme : construction et papiers collés, 1915-1919, Exhibition Catalogue, 1985, illustrated full page under the n°50, p.59.

Musée de l'Annonciade, Saint-Tropez, Braque et Laurens: 40 années d'amitié, exhibition catalogue, 2017, illustrated full page in colors p.20 and listed p.89.

Exhibitions: Henri Laurens, Paris, Jeanne Bucher Gallery, June 25th - July 17th 1942.
Henri Laurens : Plastiken und Collagen, Zurich, Obere Zäune Gallery, November 2nd - December 7th 1968, exhibitiuon catalogue, illustrated.
Collagen aus sechs Jahrzehnten, Frankfurt, Frankfurter Kunstverein, April 6th - May 19th 1968, n°30.
Henri Laurens, Basel, Basel Museum, 1976, n°38.
Henri Laurens, Rome, Académie de France à Rome, November 1980 - January 1981, n°8.
Henri Laurens, Le cubisme : construction et papiers collés, 1915-1919, Paris, Centre national d'art et de culture Georges-Pompidou, December 18th 1985 - February 16th 1986, n°50.
Braque et Laurens : 40 années d'amitié, Saint-Tropez, Musée de l'Annonciade, June 10th - October 8th, 2017.

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints