Gaston Lachaise was a French American sculptor whose heroic depictions of women reconsider traditional portrayals of femininity. Having studied sculpture in his native Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts and apprenticed under Art Nouveau jeweler Rene Lalique, Lachaise brought a considerable wealth of knowledge and talent with him to the United States where he moved in pursuit of his wife and muse Isabel Dutaud Nagle. There, Lachaise would redefine the nude in new and powerful ways.
Although Lachaise was a highly skilled, versatile, and knowledgeable sculptor, his practice reached new heights in the United States as he refined the core of his work: the concept of the woman as a force of nature, inspired by his wife, whom he viewed as the paragon of potent femininity. In his own words, Lachaise described his deeply passionate depictions of women in contrasting terms, as “vigorous, robust, and massive, yet in repose, serene, and eternal.”
Lachaise’s profoundly personal sculptural work has been widely celebrated and was particularly impactful for fellow sculptor Louise Bourgeois, on whom Lachaise’s work had a deep and career-long effect. Lachaise’s work can be found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; and many other major institutions worldwide.
24 January 2017 | ArtnetGallery Hopping: Gaston Lachaise’s Voluptuous Nudes at Findlay Galleries
26 February 2014 | ArtsyLouise Bourgeois and Gaston Lachaise: A Shared Passion for the Female Form
21 October 2013 | ARTnewsGaston Lachaise
1 April 1992 | ArtforumGASTON LACHAISE'S OBSESSION
7 February 1992 | The New York TimesReview/Art; Sensual Sculpture of Gaston Lachaise