Returning to Mother’s Womb

1950

Clay. 42 x 48 x 20 cm

This sculpture is a sequel to Herman Wald’s Prodigal Son (Fig. 30). The emaciated male figure crawls into the womb of his  mother who is featureless, her head turned sideways in the act of mourning.  The curves accentuate the union of mother and son blending into each other. Her womb, surmounted by the  breasts that nourished him,  forms  a spherical cavity, now a receptacle of the body to which she had given birth.  It bears witness to the overwhelming grief which Herman Wald felt after the Holocaust and his longing for the comforting presence of his dead mother. But the absence of features confers universality upon the sculpture.  The sinuosity and avoidance of straight lines and right angle is characteristic to  Wald’s Holocaust series.   

 © Kaplan Centre

Images reproduced by kind permission of Louis Wald

The Life and Art of

HERMAN WALD

(1906-1970)