An important sculptor and a key member of the New York art scene in the first half of the 20th century, Nadelman fused the classical influences of his Beaux-Arts style training in Europe with the subject matter and imagery of popular culture in America to create his uniquely abstracted works. At times his works seemed to combine the traditional with what was modern at the time. His "radically simplified drawings" were deceptively simple in their economy of line and form.
An accomplished draughtsman, Nadelman is celebrated for his straightforward classical and charming figures. This piece resembles the earlier famous wood and plaster sculptures from 1916-1919. They were based on cherished aspects of America at the time such as dancing which this "Woman in Profile" resembles with her dancer's hair bow and hand positioning. These drawings are significant because they survived while Nadelman's sculptures did not; they were destroyed in 1935 by workmen. This and other closely resembling drawings are what is left of his similar sculpted figures that are gone now. These sculptured figures caused quite a scandal at the time. They were criticized for the modern clothing the women were depicted wearing such as the La Femme Assise sculpture, which shows the same dress as the figure in our Woman in Profile sketch. Nadelman was ahead of his time for this style of drawing and with his fascination for the curve. Drawings like our Woman in Profile were truly revolutionary works for the time.
Private Collection, Long Island, New York