Six large sculptures of fractured human faces form the underwater museum that British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor has created off the coast of Cannes, France. The Underwater Museum of Cannes is a permanent installation beside the island of Sainte-Marguerite that is intended to “draw more people underwater” to engage with marine life. It is designed by deCaires Taylor to be highly accessible by either snorkelling or diving, positioned two and three metres below sea level. The goal is that visitors will “foster a sense of care” for marine life and better appreciate its value, while oceans environments are continually threatened by human activity.
In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon takes a closer look at Malvina Cornell Hoffman’s marble bust of Henry Clay Frick, the museum’s founder, and considers the complicated legacy of the Pennsylvania-born industrialist. This month marks several important milestones for the Frick, including the eighty-fifth anniversary of the opening of a museum for, in Frick’s words, “all persons whomsoever.” This oft-overlooked bust was commissioned by his daughter, Helen Clay Frick, and for many years welcomed guests in the Entrance Hall at 1 East 70th Street. This week’s complementary cocktail is the Old Fashioned, a nod to Frick’s first job as an accountant for the family whiskey distillery.
In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” join Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon in sipping on a refreshing Daiquiri as he unravels the mystery behind one of the Frick’s exquisite bronze sculptures, “Shield Bearer” by Bertoldo di Giovanni. Together with Xavier, decode details of the work that may point to the identity of the figure portrayed.
The enduring appeal of Rodin, the modernity of his work, has to do with the way in which he makes visible an aesthetic of process – how, in other words, he takes traditional sculpture apart and puts it back together again in new and daring ways. Strategies of multiplication, scalability, fragmentation and recombinatory modes of assembly and display constitute some of the hallmarks of Rodin’s artistic practice.
Works by Rodin on view at the Cantor are often utilized by students and scholars from a range of disciplines, including medicine. In this moment, with outbreak of disease across the globe, what can Rodin’s works teach us about the relationship between art and nature?
It’s interesting that Rodin attracts so much attention from medical experts, especially here at Stanford, who have used his hands for diagnostic purposes. It’s true that Rodin was intensely interested in exploring pathologies of the body, especially now-discredited understandings of female hysteria. But there is also the irony that Rodin became furious after a critic accused him of making his first life-size figure through life casting, rather than modeling it himself. It should go without saying, but Rodin’s hands are not hands – not real ones, anyway – and their expressive forms don’t align neatly with the anatomical reality of hands in flesh and blood or even their more naturalistic counterparts. But the very fact that they elicit such responses demonstrates the power of art to provoke challenging questions that drive innovative paths of research that cut across disciplines, particularly in a university setting.
Alberto Giacometti is one of the most admired and sought-after sculptors of the 20th century. In this video, discover how his post-war work came to embody the ideas of Existentialism and how the influence of ancient sculpture led to the attenuated human form so emblematic of his oeuvre. Conceived in 1956-57, at the height of Giacometti’s international acclaim, ‘Femme Debout’ comes from an outstanding family collection of works from the European avant-garde.
An architectural marvel has sat incomplete in a residential corner of Barcelona since its architect, Antoni Gaudí, died during construction in 1926. For decades, La Sagrada Familia has been an example of Christian fealty and Catalan ingenuity wrought in granite and sandstone; but little could anyone have guessed that ninety-four years after Gaudí’s death a Japanese sculptor would dedicate his life to completing the architect’s colossal work…
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.