Theodore J. Roszak Abstract Sculpture - Wings (The Raven)
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Theodore J. Roszak
Wings (The Raven)



Theodore Roszak, one of America’s foremost sculptors of the mid-twentieth century, created this bronze sculpture, “Wings (The Raven),” in 1947. Theodore Roszak rose to prominence during the 1930s, when he began creating innovative machine-like constructions that reflected his knowledge of Cubism, Constructivism, and the teachings of the Bauhaus. But by the mid-1940s, Roszak’s sculptures had become increasingly fascinated with the biomorphic forms and gestural methods associated with Surrealism. He subsequently rejected his geometric constructivist style for a freer and more expressionistic approach, shifting his attention from form to content as he responded to the savagery of war and a new desire to convey the human experience in thought-provoking, even disturbing, ways––concerns that would make his mature work dark, haunting, and decidedly individualistic. Roszak’s postwar aesthetic is demonstrated to perfection in “Wings (The Raven).” At first glance, the sculpture brings to mind a prehistoric raptor with outspread wings, its body exaggerated and distorted. However, like other abstract expressionists, Roszak often referenced the work of poets and writers, such as Herman Melville and Edgar Allen Poe. In this instance, he was inspired by “The Raven,” Poe’s dramatic poem of 1845, in which a young man’s grief over the premature death of his lover, Lenore, is heightened by a talking raven, whose refrain, “Nevermore,” is a sad reminder that she will never return to him and his despair will endure. In “Wings (The Raven),” the avian motif is obvious, but there is a humanizing component to the image, too. . Indeed, Roszak’s skillful handling of form and space also provides us with a visual reference to a woman’s anatomy, giving us a sense that the bird and Lenore are one––a fictive hybrid that conveys the pathos and tragedy of lost love. A preliminary study for “Wings [The Raven]” in watercolor and ink [circa 1947], can also be found at Hirschl & Adler Galleries.


  • Movement & Style
  • Condition
  • Dimensions
    H 15.25 in. x W 25 in. x D 10.25 in.H 38.74 cm x W 63.5 cm x D 26.04 cm
  • Gallery Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
  • Seller Reference Number
    APG 20624D.007
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