Artworks, Sculpture, Works on paper, and Graphical works
The work of Zadkine, which includes over four hundred sculptures and several thousand drawings, watercolors, engravings, gouaches, and tapestry cartoons, lends itself more readily to a panoramic study than to chronological presentation.
Most of his sculptures may be classified according to themes: portraits and the human form, the Biblical theme, the mythological theme, the musical and poetic themes, the theme of war, and finally those works which celebrate major creative artists.
Zadkine has often returned, after extended periods, to the subject belonging to a given cycle, for his working methods prompted him to alternate themes and procedures, thereby avoiding monotony and repetition:
Instead of vainly seeking novel styles and solutions, a sculptor should rather alternate his aims. Novelty then comes to him of its own accord. At one time, I concentrate on poetry, on a kind of expressionist sculpture, and at other times on form, I mean on a kind of sculpture that concentrates on formal relationships rather than on emotions or ideas. I suppose that this principle leads to a kind of oscillation in the evolution of my own particular style as a sculptor, but I feel that it prevents me from repeating myself, I mean from settling down in the monotony of a few routine tricks which I might be tempted to use again and again.
My materials often dictate my change of aims, and I choose to work in a different material much as a man may suddenly feel an appetite for a change of diet.
After a steady diet of moulding plaster models for bronzes, I enJoy returning to a discipline of carving stone or wood, and the wood or the stone inevitably suggests to me a shift of principles or of aims.