ROTTERDAM.- The Kunsthal Rotterdam
is presenting a delightful overview of work by the French sculptor Maillol (1861-1944). After an absence of one hundred years and with twenty monumental sculptures, Maillol comes back to Rotterdam. Maillol's first exhibition outside his native country was organised by the Rotterdam Art Circle in 1913. In addition to sculptures, the retrospective includes ten outstanding and never-before-exhibited drawings, and several early and late paintings and studies. Photographs, diary excerpts, texts and films complete this portrait of the artist. Contrary to his contemporary, Rodin, who concentrated on creating male nudes, Maillol is known primarily for his monumental female figures. He examined many different positions, materials and forms, taking inspiration from early classical sculptors but combining this with a modern take on shape, rhythm and style. He was not necessarily searching for a perfect, natural representation of the female body, but rather for the ultimate power of expression through sculpture. The exhibition emphasises Maillol's modernity in his time and how he, as a classical sculptor, has been drawn into the 21st century by way of his quest for modern imagery. This overview of Aristide Maillol's work continues a Kunsthal tradition that began in 2003 of exhibiting sculptors rarely seen in the Netherlands such as Duane Hanson, Isamu Noguchi, Henry Moore and Alberto Giacometti.
In 2012, the Kunsthal Rotterdam is 20 years old. This is being celebrated with a programme starting in the autumn of 2012 that does justice to the diversity of subjects the Kunsthal has offered its visitors over the past twenty years. In addition to the main exhibition on Maillol, October sees the start of a remarkable exhibition entitled Avant-gardes, compiled from the Triton Foundation collection. The remaining exhibition areas will be devoted to photography and design during the Kunsthal's anniversary season. A major retrospective of work by fashion king Jean Paul Gaultier will be held in early 2013.