A polish-born sculptor, Elie Nadelman left home at age nineteen after briefly attending the Warsaw Art Academy, and spent six months in Munich, Germany, studying the city's art collection. In 1904 he moved to Paris, where he worked independently but was influenced by the work of Augustine Rodin. In 1905 Nadelman began his analysis of the relationship between sculptural volume and geometry. His first one-man show in Paris in 1909 was a sensational success, as was his 1915 exhibition at Alfred Stieglitz's 291 gallery. A number of his drawings and one sculpture were also featured in the Armory Show in 1913.
A sculptor of abstract human figures, Nadelman was one of the first Beaux-Arts style trained sculptors to experiment with abstraction in figurative subjects. He applied aesthetic theories he learned in Europe to American subjects and popular culture. His work is a combination of classical methods and folk art, merged to create a unique fusion of traditional and modern.