New ways

1959-1967 Decidedly Unexplored Pathways

Zadkine was now one of the great names of 20th-century sculpture – the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne (1960), the Tate Gallery in London (1961), and the Kunsthaus in Zurich (1965) devoted large retrospectives to him. Despite his precarious health, he lived in a perpetual “state of searching", mobilising his forces for projects and the production of monumental works – that of the The Human Forest (1960-1962) erected in front of the headquarters of the Van Leer Foundation in Jerusalem and that of The Dwelling (1963-1964) for the Nederlandsche Bank in Amsterdam. 

In 1962 he began to write his memoirs, published under the title Le maillet et le ciseau, souvenirs de ma vie (The Mallet and the Chisel, Memories of my Life). Concerned about the future of his works, he dreamed with Valentine of opening a museum. The first annotated catalogue of his sculptures appeared in the monograph devoted to him by Lonel Jianou in 1964. Around 1965 he set off down the unexplored and mysterious pathways of "sculptures for architecture, “which he dreamed of deploying on a grand scale in urban spaces.

On 8th November 1967 he completed the bust of his friend the writer Claude Aveline.

He died on 25th November in the morning.

He is buried in the cemetery of Montparnasse.


 “But it is in any case very beautiful to end your life with a chisel and mallet in your hands." (Zadkine, Diary, October 1966)