Reappraising Rodin's Work at the Musee Rodin
By Maria Goldverg
posted: 05-18-11
The Kiss, Auguste Rodin, 1889
Image Source

About a week ago an exhibit on modernist French sculptor Auguste Rodin opened at the eponymous Musee Rodin in Paris. As beautiful and monumental as Rodin's work may be, the appeal of the show lies as much in the fresh approach its curators have undertaken to shed a new critical light on the artist's legacy as it does in its scope: the Musee's press release cites their mission as being a "reappraisal" that "stems from the work of critics, art historians, and curators who have introduced the public to an enriched oeuvre by including the plasters, fragmentary figures and assemblages" and it will display approximately 100 larger sculptures and fragments of assemblages found among the detritus of Rodin's studio and 40 pieces by contemporary and modernist artists such as the previously noted Urs Fischer, Jean Arp, Sophie Ristelhueber, and our personal favorite here—Marcel Duchamp.

Rodin's life and work has consistently suffered the scrutiny of a historical analytic, often within the context of the academy's rejection of much of his work: his insistence on privileging the natural and individual form was always met with disapproval within arts institutions and his is commonly remembered for his persistent clashes with traditional tastes, forms, and symbols. For instance, his sculpture of the young soldier, Auguste Neyt, in "The Age of Bronze" was falsely accused of being actually sculpted from molds taken of the model. Resisting the constrictions and determinacy of a diachronic framework—one that would insist on establishing his relevance within the particular situation of his time—this particular exhibit seeks to permit its visitors "to choose their own way around and form their own free associations."

Click "Source" below for more detailed information on the museum's site.

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