Gaudier-Brzeska, Henri (1891-1915) by Scholes, Robert

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891 – 1915) His short life is covered in this chronology from Lonbersyl Fine Art : 1891 Born 4 October at St. Jean de Braye 1903 -08 Educated at Orléans. Won scholarship for two month visit to London and another to study English business methods at Bristol University. Worked temporarily at a Cardiff coal merchant’s. 1909 Went to Germany to study art. Worked at a factory in Munich. In October returned to Paris and worked as translator in a library. 1910 Met Sophie Brzeska in the library of Ste. Geneviève in Paris. Decided to devote himself to sculpture. Returned to St. Jean de Braye, with Sophie lodging in a nearby village. 1911 After disagreement with his family about Sophie, they both returned to Paris. In January goes to London and adds Brzeska to his own name. Employed as a clerk in a shipping agent. 1912 Met Brodzky, Haldane MacFall, Middleton Murry, Lovat Fraser and others who were of influence and help. Made numerous studies of birds and animals at the Zoo, and of boxing and wrestling matches which were later used for sculpture. Commissioned to sculpt Maria Carmi as the Nun in the Miracle. Several pastels completed. 1913 Moved to studio under railway arch in Putney. Met Frank Harris and Ezra Pound who remained a friend for the remainder of his life. Exhibited at the Alpine Club where he sold several sculptures. With Sophie visited Arundel Park where he made many drawings of deer. 1914 Exhibited with the London Group and the Allied Artists’ Association at the Albert Hall. Joined French army. 1915 Promoted first to Corporal then to Sergeant. Showed at the London Group Exhibition in the Goupil Gallery two drawings he made in the trenches. Killed on 5 June, during an infantry charge at Neuville-Saint-Vaast. His work was featured in T. E. Hulme’s sequence of “Contemporary Drawings” in in March of 1914 . See A Dancer below. We have adopted that image as the logo of the Modernist Journals Project.It is visible on all our pages. As a glance at the images that can be retrieved below will show, he was truly one of the great talents of his time, and his death in the Great War was a disaster for art. Ezra pound wrote a strong and polemical memoir of him in 1914 and revised it several times thereafter. It has been kept in print by New Directions. We recommend it. The New Age NA 14:20:625

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