Sir Jacob Epstein
English (born in U.S.A.), 1880–1959
Helen Esterman, c. 1948
39.7 x 33.1 x 25.7 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Stewart A. Searle
Born in New York, Jacob Epstein studied at the Art Students League and then at the Académie Julien in Paris before moving permanently to London. In London he became close friends with Pablo Picasso and Constantin Brâncu?i, and was influenced by their approach to the physical qualities of their art-making materials. Epstein was one of the founding members of the London Group in 1913, leading to his interest in Vorticism. Though originally entitled Deirdre, the WAG sculpture is believed to be a portrait bust of Helen Esterman, a post-war poet who was married to Lucien Stryk, a poet and literature professor. As is characteristic of much of his work, this bust is developed through an expressionistic handling of the material, showing Epstein’s interest in both modelling and carving.