Zadkine and the spirit of universality

Zadkine’s contribution to modern sculpture spans a period of more than a half century.
It constitutes one of the highlights of contemporary art, embodying its spirit of independence, adventure, and fertile restlessness.

Its dominant features are nervous tension carried to its extreme, great daring, poignancy and a monumental style.

As Elie Faure might have put it, the rational, the dream and the sensual, all coexist in Zadkine’s art.

Zadkine has revised all the plastic values handed down from the past.

His attitude is revolutionary, in the purest sense of the term.

Even though his creations reflect a state of perpetual becoming, his creative process is not in the nature of a game.

His art is dramatic, and pervaded by a spirituality which lends new meaning to the old myths of Orpheus and the Prodigal Son.

Zadkine, whose immense formal and poetic contribution is indisputable, grants that an as a mode of human activity, transcends the notion of progress.

As an artist, he resolutely looks to the future, yet assumes the burden of history.

Exerpt from Zadkine and the spirit of universality, Waldemar George, Ionel Jianou, 1964