Walkowitz was closely associated with Alfred Stieglitz's circle and the 291 gallery, which was the first American gallery to show works by Picasso, Rodin, and Matisse. He was a prolific draftsman, and in his drawings he oscillated between the figure, often nude, and more abstract works such as this one, in which the influence of Cubism is apparent. He said, "I do not avoid objectivity nor seek subjectivity, but try to find an equivalent for whatever is the effect of my relation to a thing, or to an afterthought of it. I am seeking to attune my art to what I feel to be the keynote of an experience." This was one of the first twentieth-century works to enter the Morgan's collection. It belonged to the Morgan's first director, Belle da Costa Greene.
Human Abstract (Seated Figure)
c.1912 - 1925
Crayon on paper.
19 7/8 x 12 1/2 inches (50.5 x 31.8 cm)
Bequest of Belle da Costa Greene, 1950.
Signed in graphite pencil at lower right, "A. WALKOWITZ".
Belle da Costa Greene (1883-1950), New York; from whom acquired by the Morgan by bequest (1950).