Fri 30 October 2009, Financial Times

Radical interests of 20th-century sculptors

By Jackie Wullschlager
In 1911, young sculptor Henri Gaudier, living in Paris and making clay-modelled bronzes after Rodin, announced that “the French disgust me more and more – I have irrevocably decided to leave them to the Furies”. He travelled to London, hitched his name to that of his platonic Polish companion Sophie Brzeska, and worked as a city clerk. His fortunes turned when he met Jacob Epstein who, according to their mutual friend Ezra Pound: “... said, mustering the thunders of god and the scowlings of Assyrian sculpture into his tone and eyebrows, ‘Ummhh! Do you ... cut ... direct ... in stone?’ ‘Most certainly!’ said Gaudier, who had never yet done anything of the sort. ‘That’s right,’ said Epstein; ‘I will come round to your place on Sunday.’ So Gaudier at once went out, got three small stone blocks, and by working more or less night and day had something ready by Sunday.”

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