The brooding figure of Night curls in on itself as if to indicate end of day. This exquisite pair of reliefs—Day and Night—were initially created as part of allegorical figures around a fountain. They represent times of day and follow in a tradition of symbolic imagery that goes back centuries in Western art. Henri Laurens is intimately associated with the Cubist moment, formed largely by painters Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. It was primarily through the latter that Laurens came to understand the formal vocabulary of Cubism—one of the most important of Modernism.
Henri Laurens. Night, 1937. Bronze, 32 x 24 x 8.5 inches. Gift of Fred and Lena Meijer. © Estate of Henri Laurens.