From Christie’s online magazine (May 2020):
Rodin travelled to Italy in 1875, a trip described by the late art historian Kirk Varnedoe as, ‘one of the seminal events in modern art’.
Here, in his mid-thirties, he fell under the spell of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo. His monumental, exaggerated nude figures would have a deep and lasting influence on the artist. ‘My liberation from academicism was via Michelangelo,’ Rodin later recalled. ‘He is the bridge by which I passed from one circle to another.’
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) is renowned for breathing life into clay, creating naturalistic, often vigorously modelled sculptures which convey intense human emotions: love, ecstasy, agony or grief. Breaking the rules of academic convention and classical idealism, Rodin ushered in a new form of highly expressive sculpture that went on to influence generations of artists that followed.
While the Denver Art Museum is temporarily closed, we are sharing this look at the Homer and Remington exhibition. Hear from DAM curators Thomas Brent Smith and Jennifer R. Henneman.
This documentary is an intimate portrait of British sculptor Phyllida Barlow during her preparation for the major survey ‘cul-de-sac’ at the Royal Academy last year. Directed by Cosima Spender, this film maps the roots of Barlow’s oeuvre, as she revisits childhood memories, domestic and urban spaces, and their subsequent role in her creative process.
Phyllida Barlow began studying at Chelsea College of Art in 1960, and went on to study and teach at Slade School of Art for more than twenty years, becoming Emerita Professor in 2009. She was elected a Royal Academician in 2011, and represented Great Britain in the 2017 Venice Biennale, where she created the ambitious installation, ‘folly’.
Watch this evolution and the artist’s influences in ‘PHYLLIDA’. ‘I want the work to be traversed in a way that your memory of it is tested, so that you keep forgetting what you’ve seen’, Barlow explains, ‘I think that is the nature of sculpture – not something that can be held as a whole image in your head, only as fragments… The spaces, the silences in between, are as much a component of the work as the thing itself.”
‘PHYLLIDA’ is produced by Hauser & Wirth, in association with Third Channel and Peacock Pictures.
John Swarbrooke from Dickinson Gallery explains the beauty and play of light behind the cast of Auguste Rodin’s Eve.
François Auguste René Rodin (12 November 1840 – 17 November 1917) was a French sculptor. Although Rodin is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past. He was schooled traditionally, took a craftsman-like approach to his work, and desired academic recognition, although he was never accepted into Paris’s foremost school of art.
Eve is a nude sculpture by the French artist Auguste Rodin. It shows Eve despairing after the Fall.
n 1880 Rodin was commissioned to produce The Gates of Hell, for which he exhibited Adam at the 1881 Paris Salon. In a sketch for Gates Rodin showed a central silhouette possibly intended as Eve (both the sketch and Gates are now in the Musée Rodin), but in October 1881 he decided to produce Eve as a pair for Adam, with the two sculptures flanking a huge high-relief bas-relief. This would be the first free-standing female sculpture he had produced since the destruction of his Bacchante in an accident between 1864 and 1870. He began Eve in 1881, later abandoning his intended colossal version of it when he realised his model, probably Adèle Abruzzesi, was pregnant. It was first exhibited to the public at the 1899 Paris Salon. It shows a strong influence from Michelangelo, picked up by Rodin in Italy in 1876.
He also produced an autograph white marble version in 1884 (now in the Museo Soumaya in Mexico City), a version in patinated plaster and a much-reproduced 71 cm high bronze version in 1883 (known as the Petite Ève or Little Eve, whose original is also in the Musée Rodin in Paris). He also reused the same figure of Eve in his marble Eve and the Serpent (1901) and his plaster Adam and Eve (1884).
From a Christie’s online article:
Rodin first exhibited a bronze and a plaster version of The Age of Bronze at the Cercle Artistique in Brussels in January 1877. A few months later, he exhibited the plaster at the Paris Salon, where it caused a scandal. ‘The vitality and naturalism of the sculpture was so extreme, the sense of modelling so observed, that he was accused of having cast the sculpture from the model himself,’ says the specialist.
Tudor Davies, Head of Impressionist & Modern Art in Paris, reveals why Rodin’s Salon ‘scandal’ marked a pivotal turning point in the artist’s career.
The Age of Bronze was originally conceived in 1877, and is widely considered Rodin’s first great work, ranking alongside his later masterpieces, including La Porte de l’Enfer, Le Penseur and Le Baiser. Its conception marked a decisive turning point in the sculptor’s career.