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Having immigrated to the American Midwest at the age of six, William Zorach began his art career as a commercial lithographer and painting student in Cleveland. He created his first sculpture in 1917 when, engrossed in carving a woodprint, he ultimately sculpted the block into a low relief. This process left an indelible imprint on his later output and that of a generation of American sculptors...Family Group demonstrates Zorach's interests in African, Egyptian, and modern art. The central, life-size figures are presented in frontal poses, but their lower legs and feet are seen in profile--an apparent nod to Egyptian art and to Pablo Picasso. The interlocking legs and feet of these figures, the legs and feet of the children, and the negative shapes between them create flat forms much like puzzle pieces, generating a tension caused by reading the forms as both flat and volumetric.
from Snite Museum of Art, Selected Works: Snite Museum of Art (Notre Dame, 2005)