Two Female Nudes (also known as The Dancers)


Marguerite Zorach (1887-1968), Two Female Nudes (also known as The Dancers), c. 1915-20, lineolum cut, signed in pencil lower right margin. One of a small number of proofs; there was no edition. In excellent condition, on a very thin cream Japan paper, with margins, 8 1/4 x 6 1/2, the sheet 12 x 10 1/2 inches. Archival mounting with window mat.

A fine impression of this very rarely encountered American modernist/cubist print.

Provenance: The Heald Collection, with its mat.

The Zorachs (William and Marguerite), who met in Paris, spent several summers in Provincetown (1915, 1916, 1921, 1922), and it is surely there that Marguerite created this cubist composition, which bears some resemblance to other linoleum cuts she created there, including A New England Family, and Provincetown Players (indeed the two women portrayed here may have been Provincetown Players).

The linoleum cut technique was well suited to Zorach’s approach to printmaking at the time; she could carve the image herself, and print it herself by hand.

Zorach was focused on the artmaking, not marketing or distribution of prints, so she did not edition them, number them, sign them all, or keep careful records of the number of prints produced.  This has had a mixed effect on Zorach’s reputation as a printmaker – some of her prints are little known and rarely seen – but today her prints are increasingly sought after by knowledgeable collectors.