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Profile of a Woman's Head

William Zorach

American Art

Like many modernists, William Zorach embraced a reductive approach to representation, distilling a motif to its essential forms and eliminating unnecessary details. In portraiture, this approach emphasizes the most distinctive aspects of a sitter’s appearance but also reduces the amount of available visual information. This drawing wavers between these competing effects of individualization and generalization. Using assured strokes of the pencil, Zorach delineated the head in a single-line contour—a style that he adopted in the late 1910s and one that emphasizes the two-dimensionality of the image and the picture plane.
MEDIUM Graphite on cream, medium-weight, smooth wove paper
DATES n.d.
DIMENSIONS Sheet: 11 7/8 x 8 7/8 in. (30.2 x 22.5 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed in graphite, lower left: "William Zorach"
CREDIT LINE Gift from the collection of Estelle and Jay Sam Unger
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Loose sketch on verso of animal (dog cleaning itself?)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION William Zorach (American, born Lithuania, 1887-1966). Profile of a Woman's Head, n.d. Graphite on cream, medium-weight, smooth wove paper, Sheet: 11 7/8 x 8 7/8 in. (30.2 x 22.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift from the collection of Estelle and Jay Sam Unger, 1996.161.3. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1996.161.3_IMLS_PS4.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1996.161.3_IMLS_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
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RIGHTS STATEMENT © Estate of William Zorach
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