“Statuette”, also known as “Nude with Coat” is a small but dynamic sculpture. Her small size is inversely proportionate to the power and energy harnessed by the woman and her coat. A sense of uplift, exuberance and unabashed sexuality burst from within this woman, whose long tousled hair long reflects the style of the day. Her leg extends enticingly out of the coat, the long line of her leg punctuated by a high-heeled slipper. Statuette, one of Lachaise’s earliest tributes to ‘Woman,’ brings the rhythmic potential of the human figure to new heights. While the features are those of Isabel, the artist's muse model and wife, she is reminiscent of the tremendous creative power captured by Rodin’s statue of Balzac. Here is ‘Woman’ with a capital W, as Lachaise described her. Here is Woman who was fighting for suffrage and who would win it in 1920.
According to Isabel, Lachaise was at work in the studio of Henry Hudson Kitson on MacDougal Alley, when Arthur B. Davies and Gutzon Borglum entered in search of American sculpture for the Armory Show. They did not find anything by Kitson, but Lachaise brought the men to his own studio, just around the corner. Statuette, 1912 was included in the Armory Show, exhibited in Gallery A, with the work of Robert Chanler, George Gray Barnard, Nessa Cohen, Jacob Epstein, Ethel Myers, Charles Rumsey, Abastenia St. Leger Eberle, & Mohonri Young -- a great start to a career in New York for this pioneer of American Modernism.
I draw my cloak about me
That you may not see my body
And I come to you
And I ask that you set me free
That I may come to you without my cloak
And that you may understand
That my body is mine to give.
- Isabel Cyr, circa 1903-1915
Isabel was Lachaise’s muse, model and wife