Art@Site Gaston Lachaise Standing Women

Gaston Lachaise


Standing Woman

University of California
Nude but not attractive
Gaston Lachaise confronts us with a naked woman. Her precious parts are explicitly; her breasts hang heavy, her nipples are prompt, between her broad hips appears a mountain.
This naked woman is not attractive, but why?
First of all because her muscles; with these shoulders and arms we would end up in a scarf hold. The attitude of this Standing Woman is tough and challenging.
Her face is saying something else: it is a sight without contact. Her eyes register but do not see, her mouth corners are bend downward; I feel contempt and resistance.
Men and women will have different interpretations. Gaston Lachaise shows the appearance of a woman that can seen through men's eyes, but shows an emotion that can be felt by women. While viewing this sculpture you know: this statue doesn’t want to be admired or seen as beautiful. I cannot come into dialog with this sculpture. It ‘only’ wants to show an able-bodied woman who doesn’t want to make contact.
By Theo,

Naakt maar niet aantrekkelijk
Gaston Lachaise confronteert ons met een blote vrouw. Haar edele delen zijn expliciet; haar borsten hangen zwaar, haar tepels zijn prompt, tussen haar brede heupen verschijnt een berg.
Deze naakte vrouw is niet opwindend, maar waar komt dit door?
Dit komt allereerst door haar spieren; met deze schouders en armen kunnen wij kansloos belanden in een houtgreep. De houding van deze Standing Woman is stoer en uitdagend.
Haar gezicht zegt iets anders: het is een gezicht dat geen contact maakt. Haar ogen registreren maar zien niet, haar mondhoeken buigen neerwaarts; ik voel minachting en weerstand. Mannen en vrouwen zullen verschillende interpretaties hebben. Gaston Lachaise toont het uiterlijk van een vrouw zoals die gezien kan worden door mannenogen, maar toont een emotie die door vrouwen gevoeld kan worden.
Tijdens het bekijken van dit beeld weet je: dit beeld wil niet mooi gevonden of bewonderd worden. Het lukt mij niet om met dit beeld in dialoog te gaan. Het blijft ‘alleen maar’ een weerbare vrouw die geen contact maken wil.
By Theo,
It is one of at least two statues of that name created by Lachaise, the other is often referred to as Standing Woman (Elevation) because the figure appears to be lifting up, as opposed to this work in which, "it is the reverse of buoyancy that is sought. This is a triumphant figure of earth." The model for both statues was Lachaise's wife Isabel Dutaud Nagle, "his model, his muse and his abiding inspiration." Modeled in 1930, it was cast in 1932. It was an edition of 8, examples are at the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden, Milwaukee Art Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, and Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Related Work:
Lachaise was working in Paris in 1903 when he met his lifelong muse Isabel Dutaud Nagle, whom he later married in 1917. Responding to Nagle’s voluptuous figure, the sculptor created a powerful archetype of womanhood; Standing Woman is almost a modern fertility goddess. Swelling and undulating with elegant strength, she perches delicately on her tiptoes, seeming nearly to levitate despite her evident weight. Her closed eyes enhance her detachment from the realm of the viewer, whom the sculptor invites to marvel at her extraordinary body.
Gaston Lachaise (March 19, 1882 – October 18, 1935) was a French-born sculptor, active in the early 20th century. A native of Paris, he was most noted for his female nudes such as Standing Woman. Gaston Lachaise was taught the refinement of European sculpture while living in France. He met a young American woman, Isabel Nagel, and the pair moved to America, where his craft reached maturity and he was influenced and inspired by American ways. Lachaise helped redefine the female nude in a new and powerful manner. His drawings also reflected his new style of the female form.