"Rodin's brilliant forms grace Oglethorpe"
Rodin's brilliant forms grace Oglethorpe By DEBRA WOLF For the Journal-Constitution Published on: 09/23/2007 By the turn of the 20th century, Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) was considered Europe's most important sculptor since Michelangelo. At times a conventional artist and at others a maverick, his hyper-realistic representations of human figures clashed with contemporary artistic standards, which favored an idealized human form. In fact, so lifelike were some of his bronzes, Rodin was once accused of pouring wax over a living model to create his casting. In a rare opportunity for Atlanta, 35 of Rodin's small and medium-size bronzes from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation are on view at Oglethorpe University's Museum of Art. "Rodin: In His Own Words" offers sculptures and writings illuminating the artist's achievements, process and something of the man himself. "The Thinker" is the most famous sculpture in the exhibit, immediately recognizable with its bowed head poised on a clenched fist. Light reflects off the figure's contours. Fine, taut musculature runs along the forearms, thighs and calves, heightening the quiet drama of the pose. Even the curled toes grip the surface on which they rest, showing every part of the human body as engaged and expressive. Courtesy Iris and B. Gerald "The Spirit of War" is a larger, more imposing work — a winged female raises her Cantor Foundation arms in an expansive motion. Her gesture and facial expression are both graceful (ENLARGE) and frightening. "The Burghers of Calais, First Maquette" is an early model for a Deliberately incomplete, striking and controversial monument that was ultimately another departure from 'Torso of the Walking Man' accepted artistic practice of the era. captures the vitality of the human spirit. "Torso of the Walking Man" is particularly exquisite. Originally modeled in 1878- 79, it is decidedly modernist, with a roughened, energized surface that is sensual and powerful. Even in this fragment, we sense that Rodin sought to bring REVIEW movement to a static medium, liberating man's vitality rather than containing it. "Rodin: In His Own Rodin further shows his daring not only through surface texture, but by Words" Through Nov. deliberately isolating a single element of form, and treating it as sufficient to 17. Noon–5 p.m. convey both spirit and emotion. Tuesdays-Sundays. Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, 4484 Also on display are details and illustration of the lost-wax casting method used by Peachtree Road N.E. Rodin. In addition, you may watch a DVD recounting the story of Rodin's "Gates 404-364-8555; of Hell," doors to a Parisian museum that was never built, but for which the www.oglethorpe.edu. sculptor created many small-scale figures and models. Bottom line: Masterful works in an intimate Part of the pleasure of this exhibition is the pairing of sculptures with quotes from setting. Rodin, enriching our understanding of his determination, intentions and approach. In a citation excerpted from Paul Gsell's book, "Art by Auguste Rodin," the sculptor says it all: "Instead of imagining the different parts of a body as more or less flat, I represented them as projectures of interior volumes. I forced myself to express in each swelling of the torso or of the limbs the efflorescences of a muscle or of a bone which lay deep beneath the skin. And so the truth of my figures, instead of being merely superficial, seems to blossom from within to the outside, like life itself." The arts: Don't even think about missing it By Keri Smith The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Published on: 09/07/07 The "Rodin: In His Own Words" exhibit opens to the public Sept. 10 at the Oglethorpe Museum of Art. The exhibition is comprised of items from the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation. The Cantor collection includes more than 750 of Auguste Rodin's large- and small-scale sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs and memorabilia. This unique exhibit offers a few different features to introduce visitors to Rodin and his works. Sculptures and Writing Thirty-six bronze sculptures and writings, including personal letters, will be on display. A bronze model of "The Thinker," one of Rodin's most recognizable sculptures, will be there, as well as "Burghers of Calais," "1st Maquette," "Head of Balzac," "Penultimate Study" and the "Monumental Head of Saint John the Baptist." Lost Wax Casting Process When Rodin created his sculpture "Sorrow," he used a 10-step process that starts with a sculpted model, generally made of plaster, clay, marble, stone or wood. An impression of the sculpture is made, then fireproof clay, hot wax, wax pipes, investment mold and molten bronze are used to complete the piece. This step-by-step process will be on display. "The Gates of Hell" Iris Cantor co-produced this 53-minute documentary about the first lost-wax bronze casting of Rodin's "The Gates of Hell." The film was shot in Brussels, Florence, Rome and the Coubertin Foundry in France, and it recorded the four-year casting process. It premiered in 1981 and is the recipient of multiple awards, including the CINE Golden Eagle, the Blue Ribbon Award and the CHRIS Award. The film will be included in the exhibit. "Rodin: In His Own Words." > When: Open to the public Monday, Sept. 10. Showing noon-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays, through Nov. 17 > Where: Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta > Cost: $10; ages 12 and younger free; free parking > Info: 404-364-8555, museum.oglethorpe.edu Opening Reception > When: 6-10 p.m. Sept. 8 > Cost: $20 non-members