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Elie Nadelman: Sculptor of Modern Life
Barbara Haskell
April 2003
Book Review
A prominent Polish émigré artist of the 1910s and ‘20s, Elie Nadelman brought continental wit and style to American sculpture in an improbable way--by combining elements of ancient Greek sculpture and folk art. In Elie Nadelman: Sculptor of Modern Life, noted art historian Barbara Haskell offers a lively account of the artist's career. Influenced by the abstract qualities of Symbolism and Jugendstil while still living in Europe, he developed a style of simplified geometric forms and smooth surfaces in sculptures of svelte nudes and "classical" female heads with blank eyes and demure hairdos. The cosmetics queen Helena Rubenstein adored these pieces and became his biggest patron. A happy discovery—-that the cap worn by the god Hermes could be gently tweaked into the outlines of a contemporary man's bowler...

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