In the history of Western art, the subject of the human body is enduring. Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, California sculptor Robert Graham (1938-2008, born Mexico City, Mexico) contributed to the tradition of the nude with an approach that melds realism with expressive force. Some of his most notable sculptures include large-scale public commissions such as the Olympic Gateway depicting two headless athletes for the 1984 Olympiad in Los Angeles and the Joe Louis Memorial in downtown Detroit (1986). For the “Eight Statues” exhibition at Gagosian Gallery in New York in 1994, Graham created a series of female nudes in various poses. Characteristic of Graham’s treatment of the female body, one of these forms, the cast bronze Elisa (1993), is a realistically rendered portrait nude of a young woman. A self-contained and confident figure atop a flawless architectural column and base, the work is a synthesis of classical form and a modern perspective.
– Paul Des Marais, Contributing Writer
Bronze on footed pedestal
From the edition of approximately 12
December 11, 2011 Important Modern Art & Design Auction
Estimate $40,000 – 60,000
Robert Graham. Robert Graham Studio, 2008. Web. 22 Oct. 2011.