DOYLESTOWN, PA.- The James A. Michener Art Museum
announces the highly-anticipated opening of Rodin: The Human Experience Selections from the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Collections on Saturday, February 28, 2015 in the Paton | Smith | Della Penna-Fernberger Galleries. The exhibition, comprised of 52 bronze sculptures by French artist Auguste Rodin, will run through Sunday, June 14, 2015.
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) was one of the greatest sculptors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Rodin: The Human Experience not only includes a stunning installation of bronzes featuring work that spans the artist's long career, it is also especially rich in portraiture. Included are Rodin's famous depictions of writer Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac; the musician Gustav Mahler; the artist Claude Lorraine; one of his favorite dancers, Hanako; and his portrayal of God, which is also a self-portrait.
The selected bronzes in the exhibition represent the major achievements of Rodin's career. They include the powerful "Burghers of Calais", as well as works derived from his masterpiece, "The Gates of Hell." Others, such as "The Night (Double Figure)", demonstrate his experimentation with assemblage. Also featured are sculptures, such as "Monumental Torso of the Walking Man", which is an homage to his admiration for Michelangelo, and "Dance Movement D", which speaks to his interest in creating an illusion of movement. A special loan of "The Thinker" from the North Carolina Museum of Art will complement the other figures featured in "The Gates of Hell."
Rodin's ability to use bronze to represent living flesh and his interest in expressing extreme psychological states were highly influential upon younger artists, both in Europe and America. Rodin: The Human Experience reveals why the artist is considered the crucial link between traditional and modern sculpture. Whether they embraced or rejected Rodin's realism and respect for tradition, modern sculptors were, and continue to be, indebted to his innovative sculptural techniques as well as his focus on formal qualities and spatial relationships rather than narrative elements.