One of the more intriguing features of the history of sculpture since Rodin is the recurring presence of posthumously discovered bodies of work which ultimately prove to be seminal, even revolutionary. Edgar Degas’ Little Dancer of Fourteen Years (ca. 1880) was the only three-dimensional work he showed during his lifetime, the ballerinas and horses being otherwise unknown. Honoré Daumier’s sculptures were personal creations, mainly created to help him with his drawn and painted caricatures and exhibited only the year before he died in 1879. Even Pablo Picasso’s activity as a sculptor only became fully understood in the years after his death. To this list we must now add Jack Whitten, currently the subject of a retrospective at the Met Breuer.


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