Reuben Nakian  (American, 1897-1986) 

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Reuben Nakian (American, 1897–1986), born in Queens, NY, was a sculptor whose impressive career spanned over 70 years, and contributed significantly to the definition of Abstract Expressionist sculpture. After studying at the Independent School of Art, and at the Robert Henri School with Homer Boss (American, 1882–1956) and Abraham S. Baylinson (American/Russian, 1882–1950), Nakian went on to study at the Art Students League of New York, where he apprenticed to Paul Howard Manship (American, 1885–1966), and then on to a studio assistantship to Gaston Lachaise (American/French, 1882–1935). Other early influences include friendships with Arshile Gorky (American, 1904–1948) and Willem de Kooning (American/Dutch, 1904–1997). Nakian's background in Modernism laid the groundwork for an innovative body of work that focused on erotic themes in Classical Greek and Roman mythology, with particular focus on the female figure. Some of his most noted works include Leda and the Swan (1978) and The Rape of Lucrece (c.1955). His work caught attention in particular for its unleashed sensuality and licentiousness. Nakian worked in marble, clay, plaster, metal, paper, and Styrofoam, and was the subject of multiple retrospectives, such as the Frank O'Hara-curated show at MoMA, New York, in 1966. Nakian was the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, such as the Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture in 1983. He taught at Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, and Pratt Institute.

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Artworks for sale (11)
In Art Galleries (11)
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Artworks for sale (11)

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Reuben Nakian, Leda and the Swan

 

Reuben Nakian
Leda and the Swan
Nancy Schwartz Fine Art
Reuben Nakian, Voyage to Crete

 

Reuben Nakian
Voyage to Crete
1982

Julian Weissman Fine Art, LLC
Reuben Nakian, Leda and the Swan

 

Reuben Nakian
Leda and the Swan
1978

Julian Weissman Fine Art, LLC
Reuben Nakian, Leda and the Swan (JRFA 9887)

 

Reuben Nakian
Leda and the Swan (JRFA 9887)
1980-1982

Jack Rutberg Fine Arts
Reuben Nakian, Leda and the Swan (JRFA 9882)

 

Reuben Nakian
Leda and the Swan (JRFA 9882)
1978

Jack Rutberg Fine Arts
Reuben Nakian, Voyage to Crete (JRFA 9928)

 

Reuben Nakian
Voyage to Crete (JRFA 9928)
circa 1969

Jack Rutberg Fine Arts
Reuben Nakian, Salome with the Head of John the Baptist (JRFA 9905)

 

Reuben Nakian
Salome with the Head of John the Baptist (JRFA 9905)
1948

Jack Rutberg Fine Arts
Reuben Nakian, Untitled 2

 

Reuben Nakian
Untitled 2
Byron Cohen Gallery
Reuben Nakian, Untitled 1

 

Reuben Nakian
Untitled 1
Byron Cohen Gallery
Past auction results (254)  View All
Reuben Nakian, Leda and the Swan III

 

Reuben Nakian
Leda and the Swan III, 1978
bronze

 

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Reuben Nakian, Study for Venus

 

Reuben Nakian
Study for Venus
terracotta

 

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Reuben Nakian, Leda and the Swan

 

Reuben Nakian
Leda and the Swan
etching w/chine colle

 

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